South African spinners JP Duminy and Imran Tahir shocked Sri Lanka with a dominant display to dump them out of the Cricket World Cup. Off spinner Duminy became the eighth man in the World Cup to produce a hat-trick as he ripped through the Sri Lankan batting line-up along with leg break googly bowler Tahir to send South Africa into the semi-finals at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
South Africa won by nine wickets with 192 balls to spare. Duminy’s hat-trick was the second in the 2015 World Cup after England pacer Steven Finn’s low-key treble against Australia in the tournament opener on February 14.
He became the second South African to take a hat-trick after Charl Langeveldt, who achieved the feat against West Indies in Bridgetown in 2005. Duminy’s spell of 3 for 29 and Tahir’s 4 for 26 bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 133 runs in 37.2 overs.
The reputed Sri Lanka batting line-up lasted only 168 minutes. Amidst the ruins stood Kumar Sangakkara who top scored with 45 before becoming the ninth batsman to fall. Needing a run rate of just 3.56 to win, South Africa reached the target in 18 overs. Out-of-form opener Quinton De Kock cracked an unbeaten 78 in an unconquered partnership of 94 runs in 11.2 overs with Faf du Plessis to ensure the win . The only South African batsman to fall was Hashim Amla who became a Lasith Malinga victim when he cut him to Nuwan Kulasekara at third man for 16.
Sri Lanka won the toss and happily elected to bat. First to fall was opener Kusal Perera, edging Kyle Abbot to wicket keeper De Kock for 3. No-one could have predicted what was to come.
In the fifth over, Dale Steyn dismissed the dangerous and aggressive Tillakaratne Dilshan w,ho played into the hands of Francois Du Plessis at point for a duck. The dismissal shocked the Sri Lanka fans. Lahiru Thirimanna and Sangakkara put on 65 runs for the third wicket in the next 15 overs, hoping to lift the team out of trouble.
The tight bowling of South Africa made scoring very difficult. Tahir ended the partnership by having Thirimanne caught and bowled for 41. Mahela Jayawardene joined Sangakkara with all hopes resting on them. In the 24th over, Tahir made Jayawardene offer a simple catch to Du Plessis at short mid-wicket. By the half way mark, Sri Lanka were 87 for 4.
More disaster was waiting with Duminy forcing skipper Angelo Mathews to gift another easy catch for Du Plessis for 19. This was the second best partnership of the innings as Mathews and Sangakkara put on 33 runs in 9.5 overs.
The 34th over saw the exit of Thisara Perera, edging to Rilee Rossouw at slip for duck. Duminy, who ended his last over with the wicket of Mathews, picked up the scalps of Kulasekara, caught behind for 1, and Tharindu Kaushal leg before for a duck to complete his hat-trick.
Morne Morkel ended Sangakkara’s final innings in One Day Internationals when he went for a cut and holed out to David Miller at deep third man. It rained immediately forcing the players to go in for a short while. When play resumed Tahir picked up his fourth wicket, forcing Malinga to play into the hands of Miller at cover for 3.