SL vs SA: Live cricket score
South Africa topped Group C after skipper A B de Villiers led them to a 32-run victory over Sri Lanka in a rain-curtailed match of the ICC World Twenty20 in Hambantota.
South Africa rode on De Villiers' 13-ball 30 to post 78 for four after the match was reduced to a seven-over-a-side affair. In reply, the Sri Lankans were restricted to 46 for five as the Protea bowlers took centrestage at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
The loss meant Sri Lanka will enter the Super Eight stage as the second best team from the group.
Besides de Villiers, Hashim Amla (16), Faf du Plessis (13) and JP Duminy (12) chipped in with important runs to lay the foundation for a comfortable win, after being put in to bat.
In what was the first international T20 match between the two sides, the hosts always had a tough task at hands after the Proteas set a stiff target. It became even more difficult after the Lankans lost openers -- captain Mahela Jayawardene (4) and Tillakaratner Dilshan (0) -- cheaply.
The Sri Lankan batsmen simply failed to find their ground, even as Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis came up with tremendous bowling efforts to restrict the opponents.
The bowlers managed to tightened the noose further and the likes of Dilshan Munaweera, Kumar Sangakara (13) and Thisara Perera (1) could never get the momentum going.
Steyn finished with impressive figures of two for 10 from as many overs.
Earlier, South Africa also did not have an ideal start as Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed opener Richard Levi (4) in the very first over, when Dilshan Munaweera took a brilliant diving catch going back from mid on.
With the match reduced to just seven overs, Amla quickly got into the groove, stealing three boundaries before his nine-ball cameo was cut short by Rangana Herath.
But de Villiers took over from where Amla left, and in the able company of Faf du Plessis, sent the bowlers on a leather hunt.
Besides hitting fours and sixes off loose deliveries, he chipped in with the twos and threes to keep the scoreboard moving.
His knock was studded with a four and two sixes. It came to an end when he mistimed a shot off Malinga's bowling. Plessis was quick to follow his partner to the dressing room.
But JP Duminy made sure that his skipper's good work did not go waste. He hit a four and a six in the last two balls of the innings to take the team past the 75-run mark.
In a marquee match of ICC T20 World Cup 2012, Sri Lanka will face giant South Africa at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on Saturday.
Though. both the teams are already qualified for the Super Eight stage after Zimbabwe lost both the group matches.
It will be first the first big match in the World T20 as both the teams are favourites for the coveted title.
In their opening games, South Africa and host Sri Lanka were registered comprehensive victories over Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka mauled Zimbabwe by 82 runs, South Africa hammered Brendan Taylor's men by 10 wickets.
Meanwhile, the cracking contest at the Mahinda Rajapakshe stadium will determine the group winner and road map of the series too.
However, the advantage will be with Sri lanka as they are playing before the home crowd and familiar home conditions.
Apart from these, Proteas are believed to be under-achievers in multi-team major tournaments. In the match against Zimbabwe, South African pacers were merciless against the minnows but there was nothing to do much for batsmen as openers took proteas home quite comprehensively.
It will be litmus test for South African batsmen when they face world class bowling attack, especially Ajantha Mendis, who took six wickets in the opening game.
On the other hand, Sri Lankan players are looking in good shape but they will have to overcome killer bowling attack of South Africa. The onus will be on experienced campaigners Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawrdene and Tilakratne Dilshan to deliver with the bat.
It is expected that, Dilshan Manuweera may pave the way for Dinesh Chandimal in the playing XI, that means Mahela Jayawardene will open with Dilshan. However, South Africans are expected to play with the same team they played against Zimbabwe.
Thunder storms are expected in the evening.
The track of Hambantota will help both batsmen and bowlers. However, it will get low and slow in the second innings.
South Africa: AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Francois du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Akila Dananjaya, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne.