T20I: Tahir bowls South Africa to super over win

South Africa’s veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir conceded only five runs in a decisive Super Over as it beat Sri Lanka in its opening Twenty20 International on Tuesday after both teams had finished their innings with the same score.
T20I: Tahir bowls South Africa to super over win
South Africa’s Imran Tahir is ecstatic after helping his team prevail over Sri Lanka in a Super Over

Cape Town

After sending the tourist in to bat, the home side restricted Sri Lanka to 134 for seven in its 20 overs, but then blew a commanding position to end with same total, leaving the Newlands encounter to be decided by a one-over eliminator. David Miller helped South Africa blast 14 runs from its super over, before the wily Tahir restricted Sri Lanka to only five in reply, two of which were wides.

South Africa looked odds-on for victory when it reached 118 for three in its innings, needing 17 runs from 22 balls, but a flurry of late wickets left it needing two off the last delivery with Tahir on strike. He missed the ball from seamer Isuru Udana, but partner Dale Steyn scrambled through for a single as Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella botched a simple run out to win the game for his side. Miller had earlier struck a quickfire 41 off 23 balls and put on 66 for the fourth wicket with Rassie van der Dussen (34) as the pair steadied the innings after the home side had lost three early wickets.

But Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga took the game into the final over with a superb spell of bowling, ending with figures of 2-11 in four overs. Kamindu Mendis top-scored for the visitor in its innings, blazing 41 off 29 balls before he was stumped by stand-in wicketkeeper Miller off the bowling of the impressive Tahir.

Miller was handed the gloves as South Africa seeks a back-up option to Quinton de Kock at the World Cup in England and Wales, with the former passing his audition with some neat work behind the stumps. The second match in the series will be played in Pretoria on Friday, before concluding on Sunday in Johannesburg.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 134/7 in 20 overs (K Mendis 41, A Phehlukwayo 3/25) lost to South Africa 134/8 in 20 overs (D Miller 41, van der Dussen 34, L Malinga 2/11)

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