Sri Lanka skittled for record low on makeshift pitch as Proteas bloom in the Big Apple


Sri Lanka have been blown away for a record low 77 en route to a six-wicket defeat to South Africa in both teams’ T20 World Cup opener near New York.

South Africa overcame their own hiccups on the two-paced pitch to cross the finish line with 3.4 overs to spare reaching 4-80 at the purpose-built Nassau County Stadium on Long Island.

South Africa’s best bowling performance in tournament history included pace bowler Anrich Nortje career-best 4-7 in four overs, pacer Kagiso Rabada’s 2-21, spinner Keshav Maharaj’s 2-22, and fast bowler Ottneil Baartman’s 1-9 in his second Twenty20.

Opener Kusal Mendis top scored for Sri Lanka with 19, one of only three to reach double figures.

The Sri Lankans were dismissed in 19.1 overs for the 13th lowest score in T20 World Cup history.

Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga took 2-22 but South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen kept a calm head to finish off proceedings for the Proteas with an unbeaten 19.

“We did well to restrict them to a low score,” man-of-the-match Nortje said. “It was an up-and-down wicket, so it was important to get early wickets. These drop-in pitches are tough to bowl on.”

Sri Lanka opted to bat first and misread the variable bounce on a pitch that had been grown in Florida and trucked to New York State before being laid in recent weeks.

Ottniel Baartman celebrates the wicket of Pathum Nissanka at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

In hindsight, on a pitch that didn’t allow for the usual big T20 hits, Sri Lanka would have been competitive with a total of 100.

“To be honest this was a 120-run wicket, especially with our bowlers,” Hasaranga said. “We went with our strength, bowling, and that’s why we batted first.

“We have three more games and we want to do much better, especially with our batting.”

At only 4.2 runs per over, the match featured the lowest run-rate in a T20 World Cup.

The ICC Men’s #T20WorldCup is here…and the excitement is contagious. Are you ready to join the action?  Watch live and exclusively from June 2 – It’s on Prime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.