South Africa vs Sri Lanka - Quick flicks of the match
South Africa break the knockout jinx! Finally!
The Proteas were ousted in their debut World Cup way back in 1992, at this very ground – SCG. What followed was a series of disasters in knockout games thereafter. South Africa were termed “chokers” at the onset of every ICC tournament. On Wednesday, by thumping Sri Lanka by 9 wickets, South Africa broke the 23-year long jinx that had given the team nightmares in the past. Their first-ever victory in the knockout stage of a World Cup game, which had eluded the team so far, will be one that will be cherished for long!
A not-so fairytale ending for Sanga and Mahela
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, the two stalwarts of the Sri Lankan batting line-up over the last two decades, bid goodbye to ODI cricket. Having announced their retirement from ODIs post the World Cup, the duo had been looking to end this tournament on a high. They had been an integral part of the side that lost both the 2007 and the 2011 finals, and one would have hoped that this year would be theirs. But it was not to be. Sangakkara’s dream run of four consecutive hundreds came to an end, while Mahela succumbed to pressure too. The two iconic greats of Sri Lankan cricket did deserve a more fitting swansong to their careers.
JP Duminy creates history with the first hat-trick for South Africa in World Cups
Jean-Paul Duminy was brought into the attack to fill in the shoes of the fifth bowler. Nobody had expected him to take a single wicket, let alone get a hat-trick. But, Duminy defied all odds, picking the wickets of Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and Tharindu Kaushal in quick succession. It was also the second hat-trick by a spinner in World Cups, Saqlain Mushtaq being the only other spinner to have done so. The hat-trick ended any hopes of revival that Sri Lanka could have nurtured, and asserted South Africa’s sheer dominance.
Sangakkara misses out on elusive record
With that game, Kumar Sangakkara ends his career with 99 stumpings, one short of a record 100. The veteran wicket-keeper could have, perhaps, gone on to become the first ever player with hundred stumpings in ODI cricket had his team qualified for the next round. However, with South Africa bringing Lanka’s World Cup campaign to a premature end, this record shall remain unachieved.
Shortest knockout game in World Cups
Notwithstanding the rain-delay, Sri Lanka’s pitiful show ensured that the match didn’t last too long. The Proteas won the match with 192 deliveries to spare – the biggest win World Cup knockout history in terms of balls remaining. The match ended in the 56th over (combined), making it the shortest-ever encounter witnessed in the knockout stages. A match which was poised to be a thriller, ended up becoming the most one-sided game in the business end of ICC’s premier tournament.