Bowlers help South Africa obliterate Sri Lanka, finish campaign with victory

South Africa © Getty Images

An unrelenting bowling display from the South African bowlers helped the team to trounce Chamari Athapaththu’s Sri Lanka by ten wickets in their last fixture of the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 at Edgbaston on Thursday (August 4).

Both teams made one change each to their playing XIs at the start of the game. While South Africa brought Masabata Klaas in and rested Ayabonga Khaka, Sri Lanka included Malsha Shehani in place of Vishmi Gunaratne.

South Africa skipper Suné Luus won the toss and opted to bowl first, and her bowlers didn’t waste any time in making her decision count.

South Africa’s pace spearhead Shabnim Ismail got the Proteas off to an incredible start as she nicked Hasini Perera off on the very first delivery of the match. Harshitha Samarawickrama followed suit soon as she fell to Masabata Klaas in the next over. Both Ismail and Klaas landed most of their deliveries in the right areas and asked plenty of probing questions and the Sri Lankan batters had no answers at all.

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Cognizant of the fact that the Lankan batters were under the pump, skipper Luus introduced Nadine de Klerk into the attack. De Klerk was highly expensive in the previous game against England as she was taken for 34 runs in the two overs she bowled and was taken at a rate of 17 runs per over.

De Klerk made amends for her poor outing in the last game and picked up a wicket with the first ball of her match as she dismissed Anushka Sanjeewani. She also removed Nilakashi de Silva on the last delivery of her first over and exuded plenty of aggression.

22-year-old de Klerk went on to pick one more wicket and finished with excellent figures of 3 for 7 along with a maiden in her quota of four overs.

Rattled with a disciplined bowling effort from the Proteas Sri Lanka eventually folded for a mere 46 – their lowest total in the format.

The chase never seemed cumbersome for Luus’ side as both Anneke Bosch and Tazmin Brits played some sensible cricket right from the word go. The duo never missed out on a scoring opportunity and cashed in as and when the Sri Lankan bowlers erred in their line and lengths. 

Both openers steered the side to a comfortable ten wicket win eventually and accomplished the target on the first delivery of the seventh over.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 46 all out in 17.1 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 15; Nadine de Klerk 3/7) lost to South Africa 49/0 in 6.1 overs (Tazmin Brits 21*; Anneke Bosch 20*) by ten wickets