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Ken Borland

Miller reproduces heroics of old to snatch victory

Posted on December 17, 2021 by Ken

David Miller reproduced his heroics of old as he struck two sixes in the final over as South Africa snatched a dramatic four-wicket victory with just a ball to spare over Sri Lanka in their T20 World Cup match in Sharjah on Saturday.

The win keeps South Africa very much alive in the competition, but it looked like being another frustrating batting performance by the Proteas as, chasing just 143 to win, they got themselves into a tangle and were left needing 15 runs off the last over.

But Lahiru Kumara bowled two balls in the slot on middle-and-leg and Miller (23* off 13) dispatched both of them over midwicket for six. He then took a single, leaving Kagiso Rabada (13* off 7) to slice the winning runs to the third man boundary, having earlier smashed a vital six in the penultimate over.

South Africa seemed out of the game when leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took a hat-trick.

He struck a key blow at the end of the 15th over when he bowled Aiden Markram (19) and he then returned in the 18th over, with the Proteas needing 31 runs.

With his first ball he had Temba Bavuma (46) caught at deep midwicket off a long-hop and then Dwaine Pretorius tried to clear long-on off his first delivery and didn’t come close, giving the 24-year-old only the third hat-trick in a T20 World Cup, after Brett Lee in 2007 and South African-born Curtis Campher in the qualifying round of this year’s tournament.

South Africa’s problems began though in the powerplay at the start of their innings when Dushmantha Chameera removed Reeza Hendricks (11) and Quinton de Kock (12) in the fourth over.

Bavuma was then involved in the unfortunate run out of Rassie van der Dussen (16 off 11) as South Africa slipped to 49 for three after eight overs.

Bavuma ensured he stuck it out though, fighting hard in his run-a-ball innings as he and Markram added 47 in six overs.

Hasaranga then seemed to have fatally derailed the chase, but Miller and Rabada showed that it is never over until the last over.

Sri Lanka’s batting would have collapsed like a house of cards were it not for opener Pathum Nissanka’s 72 off 58 balls. He anchored the innings much like Bavuma did, before accelerating brilliantly at the death.

South Africa’s bowling was superb though, Markram (2-0-8-0) and Anrich Nortje (4-0-27-2) not giving much away in the powerplay.

Sri Lanka tried to attack in the middle overs but Tabraiz Shamsi was too good for them, bouncing back from his off day against the West Indies with superb figures of 3/17 in his four overs.

Pretorius was once again brilliant at the death, taking 3/17 in three overs from the 15th.

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