Aiden Markram hit 48 off 33 balls to help propel South Africa to a 28-run win over Sri Lanka in their Twenty20 opener.
South Africa, elected to bat after winning the toss in the first of the three-match series yesterday, and made 5-163, thanks largely to man of the match Markram’s hitting, before restricting Sri Lanka to 135/6.
Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks gave South Africa a solid start by sharing 73 runs for the first wicket, before leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga struck in quick succession, removing de Kock and Hendricks to leave the visitors at 79/2.
Spinner Maheesh Theekshana then trapped Heinrich Klaasen lbw before Markram and David Miller rebuilt the innings, sharing a fourth wicket partnership of 65 off 35 deliveries.
South Africa’s bowlers were tight from the start, as Avishka Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal could only give the home team a modest start with a 34-run opening partnership before Fernando was run out in the sixth over.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was out to the first ball of the next over, trapped lbw by left-arm spinner, captain Keshav Maharaj.
Charith Asalanka failed to increase the scoring rate and was caught in the deep by Dwaine Pretorius off left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.
Chandimal did his best and was still there at the end on a career-best 66 not out, his 54-ball innings having included five fours and two sixes, but it proved all in vain.