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South Africa reaches knockout stage for the first time in World Cup history

ICC Cricket World Cup,South Africa,Sri Lanka,

South Africa bundled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 113 in the first quarter final game of the ICC Cricket World Cup before easing to the target in a mere 18 overs to secure passage to the semifinals for the first time since 1999.

The Proteas who have never won a knockout game in World Cup history before this, completed an impressive to send a warning to their next opponents.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first which proved to be the wrong decision as the combination of Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott bowl removed Sri Lanka’s openers as the score read 2-4. 

The in-form Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne negotiated the pace and had to deal with the ball swinging about.

Thirimanne got comfortable and was finding the boundary with no difficulty as Sangakkara struggled to get singles against a disciplined South African bowling attack.

Morne Morkel replaced Abbott but both Sri Lanka batmen handled him well. Dale Steyn was replace by spinner Imran Tahir and he was right on the money when he broke the 65 run partnership, sending back the dangerous looking Thirimanne in his third over to leave the score at 3-69.

Sangakkara was struggling at the crease and pressure was mounting on him,  but Imran Tahir made sure Jayawardene did not stay long at the crease when he sent him back to the changing room with the score at 4-81.

Captain Angelo Mathews was trying to dig his team out of a deep hole, picking up singles and turning over the strike nicely. JP Duminy was bowling tight and it was too much for Captain Mathews as he tried to charge down the pitch and go over mid wicket but picked out Faf Du Plessis at mid wicket who took his third catch of the match with comfort. The score at that stage read 5-114.

It quickly became 8-116 as both Tahir and Jp Duminy wasted litte time. Duminy ran through the tail with a hat-trick. He had Nuwan Kulasekara caught behind by de Kock and Tharindu Kaushal leg before wicket. Their was a little stoppage because of rain but it never stayed long and so too did Lasith Malinga, even Tahir worst ball was good enough to give him his fourth wicket. 

The score of 133 all out was just not enough against a team that is hungry to end their knockout stage drought.

South Africa openers Amla and de Kock were very watchful and knew that they were not in any hurry to get the small runs on the board.

Sri Lanka only success came with the wicket of Amla, Malinga sent him back.  Quinton de Kock who has found runs hard to come by in the group stage was back at his best has he played a wonderfully innings, with some very handsome cover drives off the frustrated looking Sri Lankan bowlers.

De Kock, 78 not out and du Plessis  21 not out brought home the Proteas, with a lot of time to spare.

South Africa will play the winner of the game between  India  and Bangladesh.

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