IMAGE: South Africa’s players celebrate the dismissal of Sri Lanka’s Avishka Fernando during the first T20 International, at R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo, on Friday. Photograph: Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images
South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 28 runs at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Twenty20 International series, on Friday.
Batting first, the visitors had a brisk start to their innings with openers Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock looking in supreme touch. The pair established a 73-run opening wicket stand as South Africa looked set for a big total.
However, Wanindu Hasaranga again showcased why he is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the shortest format of the game. He dismissed de Kock on 36 and then followed it up with the scalp of Hendricks for 38 in his next over.
Heinrich Klassen was soon dismissed, trapped by Maheesh Theekshana on 2. Aiden Markram and David Miller were then left with the rebuilding job.
The pair did exactly that, with vital contributions that ensured the Proteas would register a competitive score.
They came up with a 65-run stand, but both perished, trying to up the ante.
Markram scored 48, while Miller contributed with 26 as the visitors ended up with 163 for 5 in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka were nowhere in the chase as there wasn’t even one proper partnership.
Nortje cranked up the speed guns in his first over and then mixed his pace up perfectly with the older ball at the death. The Proteas spinners too were impressive, making good use of this sticky pitch, getting it to grip and keeping it tight.
Despite Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten knock of, the target proved too much for the hosts as they eventually ended up losing the contest by 28 runs.