South Africa crushes Sri Lanka with bowling masterclass



A bowling masterclass from South Africa lit up New York as wickets tumbled in the first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 game to be held in the city.

Nortje and Baartman make immediate impact

The brilliance of Ottneil Baartman and Anrich Nortje ripped Sri Lanka apart in New York, with Baartman taking a wicket with his very first ball and conceding just nine runs from his four overs, and Nortje posting extraordinary figures of 4/7 from 4 overs.

And while the chase of 78 was far from straightforward for South Africa, it was the Proteas who eased to victory and got their campaign off to a winning start.

South Africa keep their cool in steady chase

Faced with a 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.

How Sri Lanka unravelled in New York opener

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first, but found the going tough early on, as South Africa’s bowlers extracted extra bounce from the wicket.

Baartman struck with his first ball to remove Pathum Nissanka, before Keshav Maharaj stepped in with two wickets in an over to leave the innings in tatters.

The introduction of Nortje as the fifth bowler saw no let-up for the Lankan batters, as the Protea pacer returned phenomenal figures of 4/7 in his four overs, ending any lingering hopes of a first-innings recovery.

Kagiso Rabada took 2/21, while Baartman ended with an excellent economy of 2.25 in his four overs.

Kusal Mendis, Kamindu Mendis and Angelo Mathews were the only batters to reach double figures in a hugely disappointing display from Sri Lanka, whose innings ended with a run-out as they posted just 77 in 19.1 overs.

Sri Lanka will look to bounce back when they resume their Group D campaign against Bangladesh in Dallas on Saturday 8 June, while South Africa can consolidate their position in the qualification spots when they play the Netherlands in New York on the same day.



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