Before the start of the game, Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha mentioned that the South African team will play without any pressure of qualifying for the knockout stages and the Faf du Plessis-led team proved his statement right surely in the first half of the game against Sri Lanka at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street. The Proteas bowlers displayed brilliant clinical to rattle the Lankan team within a pretty modest first innings total. On the other hand, many of the Lankan batters did get valuable starts, but all of them failed to convert them into bigger scores.
Rabada strikes on the very first ball
South African captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to bowl first as he reckoned that the pitch will favour his bowlers. Right-arm fast bowler Kagiso Rabada proved his skipper’s decision correct quite instantly removing the Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne off the very first ball of the match. After his dismissal, the pair of Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The duo tackled the quality spells of the South African fast bowlers quite nicely and stitched a vital stand of 67 runs in just 9.4 overs.
Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius then dismissed Fernando to provide his team another breakthrough and in turn broke the partnership at a crucial point. Perera also got out pretty soon as Pretorius bowled a beautiful delivery to get the better of the set left-hander, who was batting at the score of 30. The duo of Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis then came on the crease and both of them moved Sri Lanka’s progress further at a very slow rate. Chris Morris removed Mathews and Pretorius got Mendis in the 28th over, leaving the Lankans reeling at 111 for 5.
Du Plessis introduced JP Duminy into the attack in the 37th over and he got rid of Dhananjaya de Silva off his very first ball handing his team the sixth Lankan wicket with 135 runs on the scoreboard. His dismissal brought together Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis to resurrect the Lankan innings.
However, Morris didn’t allow the batsmen to settle down for a long time as he dismissed Mendis in the 40th over. South African pacers, Morris and Rabada then wrapped up the Lankan innings as they got bowled out for 203 runs in 49.3 overs. For South Africa, Morris and Pretorius picked up three wickets each, while Rabada finished with two vital scalps.
Sri Lanka 203/10 in 49.3 overs (Avishka Fernando-30, Kusal Perera-30; Dwaine Pretorius 3/25, Chris Morris 3/46) vs South Africa.