Sri Lanka used some top-class bowling to defeat South Africa before New Zealand recorded an upset win over England at the 2014 World Twenty20 Super 10 stage on Saturday.
|Super 10 Group One Table|
|Super 10 Group Two Table|
Fresh off a big win in last month's Asia Cup, the Sri Lankans look primed for a big result here in Bangladesh and they kicked off their campaign with a solid win over the Proteas. Batting first, the team set a good score of 165 and held off a valiant comeback from the South Africans, winning by five runs.
Kusal Perera scored an impressive 61 on 40 balls while captain Angelo Mathews added 43 runs of his own. Imran Tahir took an impressive three wickets bowling for the Proteas, including that of dangerous batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who was held for only 14.
The South Africans, who are trying to bounce back from several hard defeats to Australia leading up to this tournament, answered with a quick 39 from Jean-Paul Duminy, but the experienced lefty was let down by his fellow batsmen.
The back end of the order couldn't get anything going against a strong Sri Lankan group of bowlers, leading to the final result.
Former Zimbabwe cricketer Mpumelelo Mbangwa praised the Sri Lankan bowlers in the win:
Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga kept control of the Proteas batters throughout the afternoon, preserving the slimmest of leads for the win.
Later in the day, England lost to New Zealand by nine runs (D/L method) after a fierce storm forced play to be stopped. England had scored a decent 172 runs before it was New Zealand's turn to chase, but 52-1 from 5.2 overs before the stoppage would prove to be enough for the win.
Kane Williamson led the All Blacks with 24 runs on 17 balls, while captain Brendon McCullum chipped in 16 before play was called. Jade Dernbach took the team's only wicket and was the only bowler for England able to keep his economy rate under 7.
England got off to a decent start, with Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali combining for 69 runs, but in the end, it wouldn't be enough to get their team past New Zealand.
The loss puts England in a difficult spot, with matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Netherlands still remaining. The team will most likely have to win all three matches in order to have any hope of advancing to the knockout stage.