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SAfrica beat Sri Lanka by 9 wkts to enter World Cup semis

Sri Lanka vs SAfrica

Sydney: South Africa defeated Sri Lanka be nine wickets in the first quarterfinal of the ICC cricket World Cup to enter the last-four stage, here today.

South African spinners Imran Tahir and hat-trick man Jean-Paul Duminy shared seven wickets between them to flatten out Sri Lanka for a paltry 133 in the first quarter-final of the cricket World Cup.

Leg-spinner (4-26) Tahir looked like a man possessed while Duminy (3-29) bagged the second hat-trick of this edition — after England’s Steven Finn — as South Africa sent the Lankans packing in 37.2 overs.

Electing to bat at the SCG, Sri lanka lost the plot from the very start after the Proteas pace attack dismissed the openers in double quick time to leave the islanders reeling at 4 for two.

Kyle Abbott got Kusal Perera (3) caught behind and then Dale Steyn sent the in-form Tilakaratne Dilshan packing for a nought.

But spin was introduced into the attack in the 14th over with Duminy getting the ball ahead of Tahir and the two wrecked havoc in the Lankan camp.

It was Tahir who started the rot with a caught and bowled effort to send Lahiru Thirimanne (41) back in the pavilion after a hard-working knock.

Thirimanne shared a 65-run third wicket stand with the retiring Kumar Sangakkara (45) to bring some stability to the Lankan innings but the Proteas spinners were relentless on a day that belonged to them.

Tahir kept chipping in and off-spinner Duminy also joined forces after getting the dangerous Angelo Mathews out for 19.

Duminy got Mathews out off the final delivery of his eighth over and much to everybody’s surprise got two more scalps at the start of his ninth over to complete his first-hat-trick in ODIs, which was also a World Cup first for a Proteas bowler.

Duminy got Kulasekara (1) caught behind and then trapped debutant Tharindu Kaushal plumb in front of the wicket as the South African crowd went berserk at the MCG.

Sangakkara, who came into the match with record four consecutive ODI hundreds, was a mute spectator at the non-striker’s end to this abject surrender. The veteran left-hander, to his credit, tried to get some runs in the Lankan bag.

Sangakkara, who has announced his retirement from ODIs after the mega-event, finally went to Morne Morkel, who had bowled well throughout and finally got the reward.

Rain did put a stop to all the madness after the ninth Lankan wicket fell but South Africa wasted no time in picking up the last scalp in Lasith Malinga when play resumed.

Brief Scores;

Sri Lanka: 133 all out in 37.2 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 45, Imran Tahir 4/26, J P Duminy 3/29).

South Africa: 134/1 in 18 overs (Quinton de Kock 78 not out).

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