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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Perera's assault flattens South Africa

Perera's assault flattens South Africa

March 22, 2014 20:08 IST

Kusal PereraOpener Kusal Perera's assault helped Sri Lanka get the better of South Africa by five wickets and make a winning start in the ICC World T20 in Chittagong, on Saturday.

- Scorecard

Left-hander Perera brought back memories of former Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya as he went after the South African bowlers right from the word go. He showed scant respect to Dale Steyn's searing pacer, as he carted the world's fastest bowler for two fours and a six in the first over of the innings.

The diminutive Perera continued his attacking approach in the Powerplay and brought up his fifty off just 29 balls.

He struck 61 off 40 balls, including six fours and three sixes, before falling to leg-spinner Tahir, who stemmed the run flow and picked up three wickets for 26 runs.

Angelo Mathews chipped in with a fine 32-ball 43, to help Sri Lanka post a healthy 165 for seven in their 20 overs.

In reply, South Africa finished on 160 for five to lose by five runs as they struggled in the final few overs. They looked on course for victory with 19 needed from two overs for victory and David Miller out in the middle but the Proteas struggled to close out the match.

Image: Kusal Perera

Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images