T20 World Cup: Anrich Nortje shines as South Africa cruise to commanding win over Sri Lanka | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Anrich Nortje dismantled Sri Lanka with career-best figures of 4/7 as South Africa leveraged the available bounce to secure a six-wicket victory in their T20 World Cup opener on Monday.
At a venue where India is set to play three of their four Group A league matches, Sri Lanka’s decision to bat first backfired spectacularly.
Nortje, along with Kagiso Rabada (2/21) and Keshav Maharaj (2/22), led a dominant bowling performance that saw Sri Lanka collapse for 77 in 19.1 overs, marking their lowest T20 total.
However, it wasn’t an easy chase for South Africa in the tricky conditions at Nassau Stadium. The Proteas faced a challenging start as Sri Lanka reduced them to 27/2 inside the powerplay.

Sri Lankan wrist spinner Wanindu Hasaranga spearheaded their bowling effort with figures of 2/17 from three overs, claiming the wickets of Quinton de Kock (20) and Tristan Stubbs (13) in consecutive overs.
Despite this, the lack of scoreboard pressure allowed South Africa to reach the target in 16.2 overs, significantly boosting their net run rate.
South Africa now leads the Group D standings with two points and a net run rate of 1.048. The group also includes Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Netherlands.
The in-form Heinrich Klaasen effectively ended the contest in the 15th over by smashing Hasaranga for a massive six over long-on, followed by a straight boundary for a total of 11 runs.

Nuwan Thushara struck first for Sri Lanka in the second over, drawing an outside edge from Reeza Hendricks with an outswinger.
Angelo Mathews gave Aiden Markram a tough time, even hitting the South African skipper awkwardly in the abdomen, requiring medical attention. Markram broke the tension with a spectacular six through covers but was dismissed in the next over by Dasun Shanaka, with Kamindu Mendis pulling off a stunning catch at slip.
Nortje bowled with pace and precision, surpassing his previous best T20 figures of 4/10.
Kagiso Rabada returned with 2/21, while wily left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj thrived in the conditions, finishing with 2/22.
The drop-in pitch at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium proved to be a nightmare for the Sri Lankan batters, who struggled to time the ball, further hindered by a slow outfield.

The Proteas’ attack, however, thrived in the friendly conditions, starting with a first-ball wicket for Ottneil Baartman, who returned impressive figures of 1/9 on his World Cup debut. The rookie pacer hit the deck hard, inducing an edge off Pathum Nissanka (3) from a full delivery that swung away and had some bounce.
Nortje was fast and furious, claiming a wicket in his first over when Kamindu Mendis mistimed a pull, leaving Sri Lanka at 31/2 inside eight overs.
There was also support for spinners, with Maharaj striking twice in successive deliveries to dismiss skipper Wanindu Hasaranga and Sadeera Samarawickrama.

Half of the Sri Lankan side was back in the pavilion at the midway mark, with Nortje taking his second wicket as Kusal Mendis mistimed a pull.
Veteran Angelo Mathews, the most comfortable Sri Lankan batter, managed 16 runs from 16 balls before Nortje dismissed him for his fourth wicket.
A run-out of Nuwan Thushara concluded Sri Lanka’s innings in 19.1 overs.
(With inputs from PTI)

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