South Africa beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in their World T20 warm-up match at Lord’s on Wednesday.
This victory was set up by the Proteas’ bowlers who reduced the Lankans to 44-7 in the 10th over, before their tailenders managed to take them past the three-figure mark.
Dale Steyn set the tone early on by getting rid of dangerous openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, with Jacques Kallis and Johan Botha also taking two wickets each.
However, Graeme Smith would have been quietly pleased with Sri Lanka’s batting recovery, as it allowed his top order to get some time in the middle. Smith, though, went in the first over, caught at third man, and was followed shortly after by Kallis, who shook his head as he was given out lbw (the replays suggested it was going to hit the stumps even though he had taken a big stride).
The Proteas should have been reduced to 11-3 but Gibbs was dropped having scored just 1 and he was given another life when he had 2. That cost Sri Lanka dearly, as he went on to make 48 with AB de Villiers chipping in with 32.
While the Proteas chose to field just 11 players for this game, Smith hinted they would go with 13 (11 batting, 11 fielding) for their final warm-up match against Ireland on Thursday. It’s for this reason that these warm-up games, which are being televised, do not have official T20I status.
Sri Lanka 109-9 (20 overs)
Angelo Mathews 28, Nuwan Kulasekara 24, Johan Botha 2-9, Jacques Kallis 2-12, Dale Steyn 2-14
South Africa 113-4 (19.1 overs)
Herschelle Gibbs 48, AB de Villiers 32, Lasith Malinga 2-21
South Africa won by eight wickets
Click here for the full scorecard