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Rediff.com  » Cricket » WT20 PHOTOS: Sri Lanka edge past South Africa

WT20 PHOTOS: Sri Lanka edge past South Africa

Last updated on: March 23, 2014 00:23 IST

WT20 PHOTOS: Sri Lanka edge past South Africa

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Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara held their nerve in the death overs with miserly fast bowling as Sri Lanka beat South Africa by five runs in their World Twenty20 opener at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Saturday.

- Scorecard

South Africa had the upper hand chasing 166 for victory in their Group One super 10 match and needed 19 runs off the last two overs with five wickets in hand.

But Kulasekara gave away just four runs and picked up the wicket of Farhaan Behardien (five) to leave South Africa needing 15 runs off limited-overs specialist Malinga's final over.

Dale Steyn (zero) and the dangerous David Miller (19) were run out off the first two deliveries and although Imran Tahir (eight not out) managed a last-ball six, the chase had already gone out of South Africa's reach.


Image: Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara (right) runs out David Miller
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'We were on track but unfortunately very disappointing finish'

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AB de Villiers, captaining the side in the absence of the injured Faf du Plessis, was not impressed by his team's finish.

"I do not think it was our best bowling performance ever but definitely our bowlers did a good job to get us into play," De Villiers, who leads South Africa in the 50-over format, said at the presentation ceremony.

"If we are going to win this tournament we gotta chase down totals like this. We know that.

"We got close, we were on track but unfortunately very disappointing finish. We lost too many wickets towards the end."

JP Duminy (39) top-scored for the Proteas, who ended on 160 for eight, and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake was the most successful Sri Lankan bowler with figures of two for 22.


Image: Sachithra Senanayake celebrates the wicket of JP Duminy
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Perera's assault gave Sri Lanka the tempo at the start of their innings

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Opener Kusal Perera's assault gave Sri Lanka the tempo at the start of their innings and Angelo Mathews provided the late fireworks to lift them to 165 for seven after their captain Dinesh Chandimal had won the toss.

The diminutive Perera made clear his intentions with two fours and a six in three deliveries off Steyn's opening over 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.

Mathews was bowled by Steyn in the final over of the Sri Lanka innings but not before the Test and 50-over captain had compiled 43 off 32 balls.

"We had bowlers like Malinga and (Ajantha) Mendis. We thought the total would be enough. We did well as a unit," Chandimal said.


Image: Kusal Perera
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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NZ beat England by nine runs via D/L method

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Captain Brendon McCullum played one of the most important six-ball knocks of his career to lead New Zealand to a nine-run win over England via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-marred World Twenty20 match on Saturday.

- Scorecard

Chasing 173 for victory, McCullum hit two sixes off rival skipper Stuart Broad in the fifth over before the heavens opened and his team were left on 52 for one after 5.2 overs.

No further cricket was possible and because Duckworth-Lewis only comes into play in Twenty20 when five overs are bowled by each team, the Kiwi's innings proved vital.


Image: England captain Stuart Broad speaks with New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum as rain stops play
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Ali, Lumb added 72 runs for second wicket

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England had good reason to feel unlucky after Moeen Ali and Michael Lumb featured in a 72-run stand for the second wicket and, down the order, Jos Buttler chipped in with a cheeky cameo to help them to 172 for six at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill for 11 in the third over but McCullum greeted Broad's arrival with two sixes and a four in the all-rounder's opening over.

McCullum finished 16 not out off six balls while Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 24.


Image: Moeen Ali of England bats during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 group 1 match between England and New Zealand at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Mills removed Hales early

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Earlier, England were put into bat and lost Alex Hales to the third delivery of the match when Corey Anderson leapt back to take a stunning one-handed catch at mid-off.

Moeen (36) and Lumb (33) then scored freely as the New Zealand bowlers fed them a diet of short deliveries.

The bearded Moeen struck Kyle Mills for two fours and a pulled six in the same over and then welcomed Tim Southee to the attack with back-to-back fours.

Anderson came to the rescue again by dismissing Moeen but not before he and Lumb had made hay in the space of 7.2 overs.

Three runs later Lumb fell to Mitchell McClenaghan and Anderson was again in the thick of the action, taking a brilliant diving catch at third man.

Buttler contributed 32 while Tim Bresnan (17 not out) hit two fours and a six in an eight-ball stay.


Image: Kyle Mills of New Zealand celebrates dismissing Alex Hales of England
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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