News: Sri Lanka falls 19 runs short after South Africa powers to 126 for 6 in ten-overs-a-side contest.
David Miller hit 40 off 18 balls to set up South Africa’s win in a rain-shortened first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park on Friday(January 20).
Miller’s power hitting enabled South Africa to score 126 for 6 in a match reduced to ten overs a side, before Sri Lanka reached 107 for 6, giving the home side victory by 19 runs.
Sri Lanka’s chase was stymied first by Imran Tahir, the legspinner, who took 2 for 23 in his two overs – getting both openers in the sixth over, and later by Lungi Ngidi, the 20-year-old debutant pacer, who was awarded the Man of the Match for excellent figures of 2 for 12 in two overs.
Sri Lanka made a good start, with Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva putting on 59 off 31 balls for the first wicket, but the visiting side could not maintain the run-rate and wickets fell rapidly after the left-handed Dickwella was caught on the midwicket boundary off Tahir or 43 in 19 balls.
“We wanted to give David as many balls as possible and it paid off,” said Behardien of the decision to move Miller up to No.4 in the batting order.
He also praised Ngidi. “His bowling was outstanding. What a prospect!” said the South Africa captain.
For Sri Lanka, Asela Gunaratne held two catches, one a good diving effort to dismiss Theunis de Bruyn at backward point, bowled two steady overs of medium-pace conceding only 12 runs, and ran out Mangaliso Mosehle with a direct hit from mid-off.
“I think the bowlers did pretty well,” said Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain. “We got off to the good start we needed but after that we didn’t have any partnerships.”