HAMBANTOTA: South Africa beat hosts Sri Lanka by a convincing 32 run margin in a rain-shortened seven-over-a-side World Twenty20 group C match here on Saturday.
South Africa were good with both bat and ball as their pacemen never allowed the Sri Lankan batsmen to chase a daunting 79-run target.
Skipper AB de Villiers smashed two sixes and a boundary during his 13-ball 30 while Hamshim Amla (16) and Faf du Plessis (13) were the other main run contributors in a total of 78-4 after South Africa were sent in to bat.
Sri Lanka were without their ace spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took 6-8 in their win over Zimbabwe, after suffering from a side strain.
Heavy rain delayed the start by two and a half hours as a sell-out 35,000 crowd waited anxiously for action and although they got it late the fireworks in a shorter game gave them some consolation.
Sri Lanka were never in the hunt, losing star duo Tillakaratne Dilshan (nought) and Mahela Jayawardene (four) in the first two overs.
Dale Steyn was South Africa's best bowler with 2-10. Dilshan Munaweera and Kumar Sangakkara made 13 each.
South Africa, who finished top of the group, and Sri Lanka qualified for the Super Eight rounds. Both had beaten Zimbabwe in their opening matches.
Sri Lanka will be in group one of Super Eights while South Africa will be in group two, regarded as the group of death with India, Australia and Pakistan likely to be the other teams.
Brief Score: South Africa 78-4 in seven overs (AB de Villiers 30), Sri Lanka 46-5 (D. Steyn 2-10)
DID YOU KNOW?
By Shaan Agha
-Mahela Jayawardene is the most capped international player to appear in this tournament. He has 553 appearances across Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Next are Jacques Kallis with 497 and Kumar Sangakkara with 480 appearances. All three are playing in this game.
-Albie Morkel became the first man in history to reach the milestone of a total of 200 T20 matches. He has played 160 domestic T20s and 40 T20 internationals for South Africa.
-The two teams that faced off today have recorded the two highest scores in T20 internationals. Sri Lanka (260/6 vs Kenya) and South Africa (241/6 vs England)
-Sri Lanka’s highest run getters in T20s; Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakara are racing towards the 1000-run mark which all three can reach in this tournament. They stand at 998, 956 and 967 career runs respectively.