S.Africa upstage Sri Lanka in rain-shortened match
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka, Sept 23: South Africa beat hosts Sri Lanka by a convincing 32 run margin in a rain-shortened seven-over-a-side World Twenty20 group C match here on Saturday.
South Africa were good with both bat and ball as their pacemen never allowed the Sri Lankan batsmen to chase a daunting 79-run target.
Skipper AB de Villiers smashed two sixes and a boundary during his 13-ball 30 while Hamshim Amla (16) and Faf du Plessis (13) were the other main run contributors in a total of 78-4 after South Africa were sent in to bat.
Sri Lanka were without their ace spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took 6-8 in their win over Zimbabwe, after suffering from a side strain.
Heavy rain delayed the start by two and a half hours as a sell-out 35,000 crowd waited anxiously for action and although they got it late the fireworks in a shorter game gave them some consolation.
Sri Lanka were never in the hunt, losing star duo Tillakaratne Dilshan (nought) and Mahela Jayawardene (four) in the first two overs.
Dale Steyn was South Africa´s best bowler with 2-10. Dilshan Munaweera and Kumar Sangakkara both made 13.
De Villiers said his team was ready for the next round.
"Beating Sri Lanka is nice because they are one of the top teams and now we are ready for the Super Eights, we didn´t take anything for granted and it was nice to win," said the South African captain.
South African batsman Hashim Amla plays a shot during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup match between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Hambantota. South Africa beat hosts Sri Lanka by a convincing 32 run margin in a rain-shortened seven-over-a-side World Twenty20 group C. Photo AFP
Jayawardene said it was tough in a reduced match.
"It is always tough in a rain reduced match. We were without Mendis because we didn´t want to take risk with important matches coming up," said Jayawardene. "We must improve our fielding."
South Africa, who finished top of the group, and Sri Lanka qualified for the Super Eight rounds. Both had beaten Zimbabwe in their opening matches.
Sri Lanka will be in group one of the Super Eights while South Africa will be in group two, regarded as the group of death with India, Australia and Pakistan likely to be the other teams.
Australia advances after defeating West Indies in World Twenty20
COLOMBO, Sept 23: Australia has qualified for the Super Eights round of the World Twenty20 by defeating the West Indies in a rain-interrupted group B match in Colombo.
Australia, chasing a challenging target of 192, were 100-1 in 9.1 overs when heavy rain forced the match to be called off in front of 18,000 fans at the Premadasa stadium.
The Aussies, who were ahead of the par score of 83 at that stage, won by 17 runs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Australia´s second successive win - they beat Ireland by seven wickets on Wednesday - leaves the West Indies and Ireland battling for the other Super Eights spot from the group on Monday.
The weather ruined a keen finish with Australia edging ahead, needing 92 more from 65 balls with nine wickets in hand.
David Warner hit 28 in an opening stand of 30 with Shane Watson, before Mike Hussey joined Watson to add 70 in 42 balls for the unbroken second wicket.
Watson was unbeaten on 41 off 24 balls with three sixes and two boundaries. Hussey was on 28 with three fours and a six.
Earlier, the West Indies posted 191-8 following attacking half-centuries from Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
Left-handed Gayle smashed 54 off 33 balls and Samuels plundered 50 from 32 balls after the West Indies elected to bat in their first match of the tournament.
Sri Lankan fans were treated to a flurry of strokes as Gayle hit four sixes and five boundaries and Samuels chipped in with four sixes and three fours.
Australia rued a dropped catch at third man by Watson when Gayle was on four, as the opener pounded young fast bowler Pat Cummins for 18 runs in the fifth over.
When Gayle reached his half-century off 26 balls in the eighth over, the West Indies had moved to a promising 80-2.
He put on 39 in 23 balls for the second wicket with Johnson Charles (16) and 46 for the third with Samuels.
Watson avenged his error by holding a high return catch to dismiss Gayle off the first ball of the 11th over, but Samuels took over to destroy the Australian bowling.