TELFORD VICE, Sydney
SA surged into the World Cup semi-finals with a dominant allround performance against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
AB de Villiers’ team bowled and fielded aggressively to blow away the powerful Sri Lankan batting line-up for just 133. They knocked off their target with nine wickets standing and 32 overs to spare to book their place in the final four.
“I won’t say it’s the best (bowling performance by SA), but it was the most important performance in the most important game to date,” De Villiers said.
The victory was SA’s first in a World Cup knockout match. In their six previous trips to the tournament, they have lost a quarter-final and three semi-finals, and tied a semi.
“It’s a great achievement by the team, but we came here to win the World Cup,” De Villiers said. “We’ve got, hopefully, two games to go – we haven’t won the World Cup yet.”
In their semi-final this year, SA will play the winners of the quarter-final between New Zealand and West Indies, who clash in Wellington on Saturday. The semi is set for Auckland on Tuesday.
JP Duminy made history by becoming the first SA player and the eighth overall to take a hattrick in a World Cup match.
Off-spinner Duminy sent the Lankans slip sliding from 114/5 to 116/8 with the last ball of his eighth over and the first two deliveries of his ninth on his way to figures of 3/29. His spin twin, leg spinner Imran Tahir, did even more damage in his haul of 4/26.
Morne Morkel became the only bowler in Sri Lanka’s last four games to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara before he had scored a century. Sangakkara was caught at third man for 45.
Then Quinton de Kock, who had a top score of 26 and an aggregate of 53 in his first five innings in the tournament, found form to guide SA to victory with an undefeated 78.