Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka, whose side endured a heart-shattering final-over loss in Sharjah, attested that his team will keep fighting for a semi-final spot despite the Lankans’ hopes severely getting dented on the back of a cruel four-wicket loss against South Africa.
Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 142, and a disciplined bowling performance saw the side put itself in pole position to win the match, with the Proteas needing 15 off the final over to win. However, two killer blows from the bat of David Miller ensured the Proteas got over the line, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at fourth position in the table.
Shanaka credited South Africa for holding their nerve, and admitted that he felt that Kumara had a defendable target in the final over.
“It was enough to defend for Kumara. He was nailing his yorkers, so I thought he was dependable. Credit to how the South African batsmen played under pressure,” Shanaka said after the game.
“We had Wanindu for the death too, but we used him up before. Nissanka was fantastic and we know that he's a bright prospect for Sri Lankan cricket. It's difficult for us after this, but we have to keep fighting.”
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma, who top scored for his side with a run-a-ball 46, said that he was pleased to see David Miller take up responsibility and finish the game off.
“It's hard to keep everything at the back of my mind, and we had a job to do. We took it deep and it was a good thing that we managed to get over the line. David hasn't done that for us in a while, and it's great that he came good at the right time,” Bavuma said.
The South African skipper also credited Tabraiz Shamsi, who was named Man of the Match for his exceptional figures of 3/17 that crippled the Sri Lankan batting unit.
“Shamsi is a good player for us, he's been effective all over the world in this format and he's been doing this for quite a while now.”
South Africa, with the win, moved to third spot in the Group 1 table, marginally behind second-place Australia in the Net Run Rate.