T20 World Cup: Miller, Rabada help South Africa edge past Sri Lanka in thriller

Sharjah: Back-end heroics from David Miller (23 not out off 13 balls) and Kagiso Rabada (13 not out off 7 balls) helped South Africa prevail over Sri Lanka by four wickets in a thrilling Group 1 match of Super 12 stage in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

After Tabraiz Shamsi and Dwaine Pretorius took identical figures of 3/17 to bowl out Sri Lanka for 142 all out, South Africa were in trouble at 112/6 as Wanindu Hasaranga’s hat-trick turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour. But Miller and Rabada chased down 25 runs in the last two overs to give South Africa their second successive win of the tournament.

Chasing 143, South Africa lost openers Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock in the fourth over by Dushmantha Chameera. While Hendricks was rapped on the back pad, de Kock got a top edge on the pull, pouched by the bowler himself.

There was some frantic running between the wickets when captain Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen were at the crease. One of those instances resulted in a mix-up between the batters, culminating in the run-out of van der Dussen in the eighth over as Dasun Shanaka hit the stumps directly at non-striker’s end.

Bavuma had a 47-run partnership off 42 balls with Aiden Markram before Wanindu Hasaranga claimed the second hat-trick of the tournament and made things difficult for South Africa. Hasaranga started off by clean bowling Markram with a googly in the 15th over. After a quiet over from Maheesh Theekshana, Bavuma whacked a gigantic six off Chameera.

But Hasaranga claimed wickets on the first two balls of his next over to complete his hat-trick. Bavuma picked out deep mid-wicket, who leapt in the air to take the catch. On the very next ball, Dwaine Pretorius slogged straight to long-on.

Kagiso Rabada hit Chameera for a six over long-off in the 19th over yielding ten runs. With 15 needed off the final over, David Miller smacked Lahiru Kumara for back-to-back sixes before Rabada finished off in style with an edge past the keeper, with just a ball to spare.

Earlier, South Africa struck at regular intervals with the ball, which made run-scoring a difficult task for Sri Lanka on a used pitch. Apart from Pathum Nissanka’s 72 off 58 balls, no other batter could play a knock of significance.

After electing to bowl first, Anrich Nortje started things off by disturbing Kusal Perera’s stumps in power-play. Nissanka soldiered on to hit boundaries and paced his knock with perfection despite losing partners from other end.

Charith Asalanka looked in good nick but was run-out from a brilliant throw by Kagiso Rabada from mid-wicket. From there onwards, the Sri Lankan batting slide continued as Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj kept things tight while taking wickets in the middle overs.

Nissanka continued to bat deep, slamming an off-colour Kagiso Rabada for a six followed by back-to-back fours in the 18th over. But on the next over, Nissanka holed out to long-on off Pretorius. Maheesh Theekshana hit a boundary off Nortje in the final over to take Sri Lanka past 140-mark.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 142 all out in 20 overs (Pathum Nissanka 72, Charith Asalanka 21, Tabraiz Shamsi 3/17, Dwaine Pretorius 3/17) lost to South Africa 146/6 in 19.5 overs (Temba Bavuma 46, David Miller 23 not out, Wanindu Hasaranga 3/20, Dushmantha Chameera 2/27) by four wickets


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