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Miller blitzkrieg powers South Africa to four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka

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Sharjah: David Miller’s two last-over sixes powered South Africa to a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka despite a hat-trick by Wanindu Hasaranga in a thrilling Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Saturday.

Miller’s 23-run unbeaten cameo off just 13 balls ensured South Africa knock off the required 25 runs in the last two overs, including 15 in the final six deliveries. The Proteas did so with a ball to spare.

In a match where the pendulum swung till the very end, Kasigo Rabada (13 not out off 7 balls) took a single in the first ball of the last over. Then Miller smashed two back-to back sixes off pacer Lahiri Kumura to seal the game in his team’s favour.

Rabada completed the chase by hitting the winning runs — a boundary to the third man fence — as the Proteas continued their fine run to stay afloat in the tournament.

First left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/17) ran through the Sri Lankan batters as South Africa bundled them out for 142 despite opener Pathum Nissanka’s whirlwind 72 and then chased the tricky target.

Thus, the efforts of young leg-spinner Hasaranga (3/20), who scalped two wickets in the 18th over, went in vain.

Skipper Temba Bavuma (46) played his part to perfection as he took the game deep and then Miller justified his finisher’s tag.

Chasing 143, South African lost Reeza Hendricks (11), Quinton de Kock (12) and Rassie van der Dussen (16) cheaply.

Bavuma and Aiden Markram (19) took the game deep with their crucial 47-run stand, which played a role in the side’s win.

Earlier, left-arm wrist spinner Shamsi spun his web around the Sri Lankan batters as South Africa bowled their opponents out.

On a track that aided spinners, Shamsi rattled the Sri Lankan middle-order to return with fine figures of 3/17 and his scalps included Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0), Avishka Fernando (3) and Hasaranga (4).

The 23-year-old Nissanka was the lone Sri Lankan to shine with the bat, hitting 72 off just 58 balls, with six fours and three sixes.

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