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Watch: South Africa beat Sri Lanka in final over thriller

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Oct 30, 2021

South Africa chased down a target of 143 to win their T20 World Cup match against Sri Lanka by four wickets with just a ball to spare.

Watch: The story of South Africa vs Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka had been asked to bat, but neither team ran away with the advantage in the Powerplay. South Africa’s pacers went for a few runs, but it was also Anrich Nortje who got the first breakthrough.

Kusal Perera, trying a pull shot, was done in by pace and found his middle stump flattened.

Kagiso Rabada went for a couple of fours in his first over, but might have considered himself unlucky as an inside edge just missed the stumps before running away to the boundary.

At 39/1 in the first six, neither side would have been too disappointed.

Spin from both ends

Eight overs of spin in the middle overs denied Sri Lanka any chance to build a partnership, as Keshav Maharaj and Shamsi came on for four-over spells each. 

They both afforded South Africa a couple of quiet overs before Nissanka and Charith Asalanka swung hard in Maharaj’s second over, sending the ball sailing over midwicket for two sixes in three balls. 

However, a run-out at that point against the run of play changed the momentum. The over had already yielded 14 runs when the batters decided to scramble two. Rabada charged in from the ropes and made good ground to put in an excellent throw to the wicketkeeper, catching Asalanka short of his mark.

The very next over, Shamsi took a return catch to send Bhanuka Rajapaksa back without scoring. He then enjoyed a similar dismissal with Avishka Fernando, before Wanindu Hasaranga, who came out with an attacking mindset, holed out in the deep.

Even as wickets fell around him, and he himself survived a stumping appeal, Nissanka held firm to prop up the Sri Lanka innings.

He had done well to target the bad balls for boundaries and brought up his half-century off 46 balls.

Looking to accelerate, he walked across his stumps and smashed a wide ball from Dwaine Pretorius for four over square leg. He then pocketed a leg-side six and four off Rabada, before finishing the over with another boundary through extra cover.

His innings finally came to an end on 72 off 58 balls, caught in the deep from a slower ball from Pretorius.

He was one of four wickets to fall in the final two overs, as Sri Lanka were bowled out on the last ball of the innings.

Dushmantha Chameera struck twice in the fourth over to send back both South Africa openers and put them on the back-foot in their chase of 143.

The bowlers then piled on the pressure as South Africa were kept to 62/3 in 10 overs, with Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram at the crease.

David Miller would step up to guide the Proteas home in the end.

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