Tamil Diplomat

Cricket World Cup 2015: South Africa ease into semi-finals

South Africa cruised into the World Cup semi-finals with a one-sided thrashing of a sorry Sri Lanka in Sydney.Off-spinner JP Duminy took a hat-trick and leg-spinner Imran Tahir 4-26 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 133.The Proteas then eased to their target for the loss of only one wicket in 18 overs, with Quinton de Kock making an unbeaten 78.They go on to a last-four meeting with New Zealand or West Indies in Auckland on Tuesday.

South Africa’s first knockout victory in 23 years of playing World Cup cricket takes them to a first semi-final since a famous defeat by Australia in 1999.In reaching their target with 32 overs to spare, AB de Villiers’ side also completed the fastest successful run chase in a World Cup knockout match as Sri Lanka, finalists in the previous two World Cups, wilted.

Their lacklustre display was not befitting what turned out to be the final international match for Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara’s last ODI. The duo have scored 117 international centuries between them.After the Proteas’ pace bowlers made early inroads, the spin pair of Duminy and Tahir took advantage of a succession of loose shots, while South Africa were excellent in the field throughout.Sangakkara, on the back of four successive hundreds, made a painstaking 45 and Lahiru Thirimanne a counter-attacking 41, but no other batsman reached 20.