28.3.2016 07:40 pm
Proteas save their best for last
It was thanks in part to a Man of the Match worthy effort from left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso.
The Proteas saved their best bowling performance for a match that had absolutely zero bearing on the rest of the ICC World T20.
After sending Sri Lanka in to bat the South African attack survived an early scare but the bowlers, without any pressure on their shoulders in a dead-rubber, pulled it back and ended up bowling the opposition out for 120 in Delhi on Monday.
It was thanks in part to a Man of the Match worthy effort from left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, who found himself on a hattrick in the fifth over, with his 2/26 while Kyle Abbott and Farhaan Behardien bagged 2/14 and 2/15 respectively.
Both were brought into the side, replacing an injured Chris Morris and Rilee Rossouw.
There was also a return of 1/18 from Imran Tahir, the standout bowler for the Proteas in a disappointing campaign, and 1/33 from Dale Steyn, who recovered after going for 20 in his first two overs.
The run-chase ended up being pretty straightforward with Hashim Amla leading the way with an unbeaten 56 off 52 deliveries, his knock included five fours and a six, while captain Faf du Plessis added 31 off 36 balls before falling victim to a terrible umpiring decision.
The right-hander was adjudged leg-before while attempting a paddle sweep off Suranga Lakmal but replays showed a thick outside edge before the ball hit his pads. It was left to Amla and AB de Villiers, who added 20 off 12, to get them over the line to an eight wicket win.
“I think throughout the tournament, we had some good spells with bat and ball they were never in the same game,” Amla said, reflecting on a poor campaign that began with a failure to defend a mammoth 230 against England in their opening game.
“Even if you lose the first game you pride yourself on coming back. In tournaments like this when you lose quite badly you’re playing catch-up, hoping other results go your way and you never want to be in that position. Although we got close we just weren’t good enough and consistent enough,” he added.