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South Africa beat Sri Lanka by six wicket

South Africa have beaten Sri Lanka by six wickets in a low-scoring match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at  Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Monday.

Earlier, Sri Lanka chose to bat first and were on the back foot almost immediately. Their Powerplay yielded just 24 runs, and they had their lowest ten-over score: 40 for 5. South Africa’s four-seam attack adapted to conditions quickly, went fuller upfront , varied pace well and were disciplined.

Their headliner was Anrich Nortje, who put in his best performance since returning from a stress fracture that sidelined him from the international game for almost nine months, and career-best.

Nortje’s 4 for 7 was embroidered with high-class pace as he touched 150kph and excellent use of the slower ball. He was complemented by World Cup debutant Ottneil Baartman, who bowled 20 dot balls in total, the joint-most by a bowler in an innings at the T20 World Cup, equalling Ajantha Mendis against Zimbabwe in 2012.

As a result of the South Africans combined efforts, only three Sri Lankan batters got into double figures, and only one partnership – their seventh-wicket stand between Dasun Shanaka and Angelo Mathews – was worth more than 20.

They’ll rue not getting another 20 or 30 runs because that could have made things really tricky for South Africa. At 58 for in the 13th over, 100 would have been a tough ask but 78 was within reach. Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller took them home with 22 balls to spare.

On the other hand, to face the target of just 78 to win their tournament opener, South Africa inched their way to victory in Nassau County as the Sri Lanka bowlers ensured the first-ever T20 World Cup match in New York was a low-scoring thriller.

Quinton de Kock anchored the chase with 20 from 27 balls – a knock that illustrated just how tough it was for even experienced international stars to score on a surface that offered plenty for quicks and spinners alike.

Nuwan Thushara and Dasun Shanaka made the powerplay breakthroughs that Sri Lanka desperately required after reaching just 77 all out in their first innings.

And a double strike from Wanindu Hasaranga to remove De Kock and Tristan Stubbs (13 from 28) gave the Lankans hope.

But 78 was never likely to be enough to deny South Africa’s powerful batting lineup, and the double-act of Heinrich Klaasen (19* from 22) and David Miller (6* from 6) completed the job with 3.4 overs and six wickets to spare.