If T20 cricket wasn’t short enough, the Group C match between Sri Lanka and South Africa was reduced to ‘T7′ affair. With rain playing spoilsport, the 34,000 audience at Hambantota was dished out only a seven-over per side match which South Africa won by 32 runs.
Rain, during this time of the year, is always a dampener in this part of the world. And Saturday’s match is no exception. It had been raining pretty consistently at Hambantota. And the start of the match was delayed by nearly 2:30 hours.
It was a dead rubber to begin with, as far as the result was concerned from this Group B match. But, then, no T20 match is a dull one, and certainly not if it’s between these two exciting teams.
Sri Lanka won the toss and Mahela Jayawardene, quite predictably, decided to bowl first. And a strike in the very first over to send back the dangerous Richard Levi gave them the momentum too. Dilshan Munaweera took one of the best catches that one would see in this World T20.
But this match was always going to be that of cameos, and so it was for South Africa. Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy all chipped in with useful strokes. And AB de Villiers’ 15-ball 30 helped them set a good total of 78/4.
The Lankans started exactly like their rivals and lost their opener Tilekeratne Dilshan in the first over itself with a score of four on the board. But Jayawardene’s wicket in the third over made matters worse for the home team.
Kumar Sangakkara and Munaweera tried to force things, but the constant pressure of scoring at the rate of above 12 runs per over proved too tough for Sri Lanka, who folded at 46/5. Dale Steyn picked up two wickets.
Both teams have won their respective ties against Zimbabwe and moved on to the Super 8 stage quite comfortably. But really would want to lose momentum at such an early stage of the tournament. Also, it was a great opportunity to try out a few untested combinations that should be kept ready for the latter part of the event. But a 14-over match didn’t permit even much of that.