Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga captured just the third hat-trick in T20 World Cup history, but an incredible display of power-hitting defied the heroics as South Africa clinched a pulsating four-wicket win on Saturday night (AEDT).
Hasaranga put Sri Lanka in a dominant position when he completed a hat-trick in the 17th over, leaving South Africa in trouble at 6-112 chasing 143 to win.
But three sixes across the final three overs, courtesy of phenomenal striking from David Miller and Kagiso Rabada, would haul the game back into the Proteas’ favour, before Rabada completed the dramatic run chase with one ball to spare.
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Rabada hit the first of the three sixes when he blasted a Dushmantha Chameera delivery over long-off 18.4 overs into the run chase.
When Lahiru Kumara was handed the ball for the final over of the match, South Africa were faced with the daunting task of making 15 runs to win.
But on the second and third balls of the over, Miller would blast Kumara for six over midwicket.
It was a Rabada edge that raced away for four through the third-man region on the second-last ball that sealed victory.
“South Africa get over the line!” said former Zimbabwe quick Pommie Mbwanga on Fox Cricket’s coverage.
“Turbulent were the times in this game as they went towards the target of 143. At some point you’d have thought they were not going to get there. But, man! How dramatic right at the end. They win by four wickets.”
Cricket writer Andrew McGlashan described the game on Twitter as “a World Cup thriller”.
While South Africa now have two super-12 victories, Sri Lanka remain stranded on just one win.
Former Australia quick Brett Lee (versus Bangladesh in 2007), Ireland seamer Curtis Campher (versus the Netherlands in 2021) and Hasaranga are the only men to have snared a T20 World Cup hat-trick.
Wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock returned for South Africa’s game against Sri Lanka and took a knee, after withdrawing from his side’s clash with the West Indies on Tuesday following a directive from Cricket South Africa to perform the anti-racism gesture.
After South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to bowl, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 142 on the last ball of their innings.
Opening batter Pathum Nissanka bludgeoned 72 from 58, but South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi and Dwaine Pretorius took three wickets apiece to help limit Sri Lanka to a modest total.
Bavuma was crucial to South Africa’s successful run chase in an innings of 46 at a run a ball, before Rabada and Miller lifted the Proteas to victory despite Hasaranga’s hat-trick.
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