Cricket World Cup

Live Commentary: South Africa vs. Sri Lanka - as it happened

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Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Cricket World Cup quarter-final between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

South Africa have reached the semi-finals of the 2015 Cricket World Cup after thrashing Sri Lanka by nine wickets in Sydney.

Despite losing the toss, South Africa dominated from the first ball and after nullifying Sri Lanka's batsmen during the first part of their innings, they eventually dismissed their opponents for 133, with JP Duminy recording a hat-trick near the end of the innings.

A successful run chase was never in doubt, with Quinton de Kock guiding his team home with 32 overs to spare after a quick-fire 78 off 57 balls.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the quarter-final tie between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Cricket World Cup.
After a group-stages format that seems to have lasted months rather than weeks, we have finally reached the last eight of the Cricket World Cup and we kick off with arguably the most competitive of the four quarter-finals. Expect runs galore when we get underway in Sydney in around 25 minutes time!
TOSS! Sri Lanka have won the toss, and without any hesitation, Angelo Mathews has opted to bat first. It's a sunny day in Australia, and with the pitch expected to be what Mathews describes as "nice and hard", it was a no brainer.
TEAM NEWS! Both teams have made alterations since last time out, and it's the inclusion of Tharindu Kaushal that will set tongues wagging. He comes in for his debut in place of Rangana Herath. As for South Africa, they make two changes, with Faf du Plessis and Kyle Abbott coming into the side for Vernon Philander and Farhaan Behardien.
SOUTH AFRICA XI: Amla, De Kock, Du Plessis, Rossouw, De Villiers*, Miller, Duminy, Steyn, Abbott, M Morkel, Imran Tahir
SRI LANKA XI: Perera, Dilshan, KC Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Mathews, Thirimanne, Perera, Kulasekara, Kaushal, Chameera, Malinga
With just under 10 minutes to go until we get underway at the SCG, let's take a quick look at Kaushal. As we have already mentioned, the 22-year-old spin bowler is making his ODI debut today, with his only appearance in Sri Lanka colours coming in a Test match in New Zealand in December. It turned out to be a tough debut though, with his match figures reading 2-207 off 35 overs. However, he does have a superb domestic one-day record with 49 wickets coming at an average of 18.34. If he can carry that form into today's contest, South Africa better watch out.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that South Africa have never won a knockout match at a Cricket World Cup. Will that change today? As the teams enter the field, we are going to find out over the course of the next few hours. You feel as though the South Africa pace bowlers need to strike early. The Sri Lanka top order have already shown in this tournament that when they get settled, they are tough nuts to crack.
Kusal Perera is making his first appearance at the top of the order for Sri Lanka and it's takes him just three balls to play and miss at a wide delivery from Dale Steyn. He also slashes at the next delivery, but the ball flies over the slip cordon for two. Perera has been given licence to play his shots and he also edges another off the penultimate ball before another edge flies away for a single. Entertaining first over!
WICKET! Perera (3) c De Kock b Abbott
Well that just hasn't worked at all. Kyle Abbott enters the attack and after seeing Perera play and miss at successive balls, he finds the outside edge and Quinton de Kock pulls off a stunning one-handed catch at the second attempt behind the stumps. Kumar Sangakkara is in and already, he has a rebuilding job to do.
We should remember that Sangakkara is looking for his fifth successive ton, something unheard of in ODI cricket. Tillakaratne Dilshan finally gets on strike for the first time in the innings and like Perera, he is struggling to put bat on ball. When he does he can't find a gap and Steyn registers a maiden.
The Proteas attack have started this match right on the money and Abbott starts his second over by bowling a peach to Sangakkara, who does well to avoid making contact. We've had a change of ball but Abbott is all over Sangakkara here. After a big appeal for LBW is turned down, he plays and misses at another before a good leave concludes the over.
WICKET! Dilshan (0) c Du Plessis b Steyn
Sri Lanka have no answer to the pace, accuracy and swing of South Africa right now and they go two down after a pumped-up Steyn forces Dilshan to slash the ball to Faf du Plessis, who takes a splendid catch.
Lahiru Thirimanne has come in at number four instead of Mahela Jayawardene. Interesting move. If Sri Lanka lose another, they are in huge trouble. Just two runs come off the over but Steyn appears to have tweaked his neck. We'll have to keep an eye on that.
An inside edge from Thirimanne sees him run two but Abbott responds with a good delivery into the block hole. The next ball is short and wide though, and Thirimanne crashes a drive through the covers for the first boundary of the innings. He follows that with another beautiful strike to the extra-cover boundary and Sri Lanka are up and running.
As expected, Morne Morkel replaces Steyn at the other end, and he continues to frustrate Sangakkara, who is still looking to get off the mark. Off his 16th ball, he finally does so with a flick down to fine leg before Thirimanne misses out with a free hit to end the over.
Rather surprisingly, Steyn has returned at the other end, but he continues the restraining job on Sangakkara, who is being forced to be patient. Off the final ball, he plays a nice shot off the front foot but it finds a fielder. It's another maiden for Steyn and Sangakkara has moved to one run off 22 balls.
Morkel is racing in hard and finding speeds in excess of 92mph. So far, Sri Lanka can't handle him before Thirimanne is fortunate to survive being caught after slashing the ball just past the fielder between point and gully. His next shot is played with more confidence though, clearing the in-field before racing to the off-side rope.
Steyn strays down the leg side and Thirimanne is able to run two to move to 22 off 18. That progresses to 26 off 20 with a hoick down the ground. The over ends with Sangakkara pulling the ball down to fine leg for just his second run.
Every so often, Morkel is sending down a wild delivery, and a wide ball down the leg side gifts two runs to South Africa. He responds well though, once again stopping Sangakkara from adding to the run tally.
Abbott is back as De Villiers continues to rotate his three pacemen. It's taken his 28 balls but Sangakkara finally plays an expansive shot through the off-side that earns his three runs. That should do him the world of good.
Morkel has been finding plenty of pace and bounce but with the third ball, he finds too much and it flies over De Kock and to the rope for four byes. That's harsh, but it's all that comes from the over.
Abbott continues into his fifth over and it's an impressive one at that, conceding just a single to Thirimanne who has slowed down to 30 off 30.
We have our first look at spin of the day as JP Duminy enters the attack. It's a good start from the all-rounder, who concedes just three, but Sri Lanka finally get to fifty, albeit off 90 balls...
As expected, it's time for De Villiers to save his three pacemen for later in the innings, and Imran Tahir enters the fray. He has a big role to play to prevent Sri Lanka upping their run-rate to around five per over and he starts terrifically to almost bowl Sangakkara but the left-hander responds with a lofted sweep for four to finally reach double figures off 35 balls.
Sangakkara is looking to attack Duminy but he has to settle for a single, with just the three runs coming off the over.
With Duminy keeping things tight at the other end, Tahir is able to attack more regularly and he successfully finds the outside edge of Thirimanne. However, there is no slip and the ball races away for three.
You get the feeling that Sangakkara is beginning to find his touch after he caresses a leg-side delivery down to fine leg. Tahir is doing a good job so far though, with just 13 runs coming from three overs.
WICKET! Thirimanne (41) c & b Imran Tahir
I mentioned earlier that Tahir has been on the attack, and he's got his reward with the scalp of Thirimanne who appears to be deceived by pace after directing the ball straight back into the hands of the bowler. Mahela Jayawardene is in but he is being met with a boisterous Tahir, who wants a second wicket.
Duminy starts with a couple of wides but just four runs come from the over. Sri Lanka are going along at just over 3.5 an over. You feel as though they need to end the innings on at least 250, five per over, to have a chance of victory.
Imran Tahir is flying through his overs and he thinks he has Jayawardene trapped LBW off his final delivery. The umpire says no but South Africa take the decision upstairs. The ball is hitting the stumps but it's marginally outside of the line of the stumps so the umpire's decision stands.
Just four runs come from Duminy's fifth over and he has moved to 0-19. Not too shabby at all. Sangakkara is still toiling away on 19 off 59 balls while Jaywardene has four off 15.
WICKET! Jayawardene (4) c Du Plessis b Imran Tahir
Huge wicket for South Africa! Jayawardene, one of Sri Lanka's star performers, falls for just four after miscuing a shot straight into the hands of Faf du Plessis at short mid-wicket. Captain Angelo Mathews has a big job on his hands here.
Tahir is finding so much spin and bounce. The Sri Lankan batsmen don't look confident at all and they have to make do with a streaky three runs.
Sri Lanka reach the halfway stage of their innings on 87-4 - that's not what they had in mind when they walked out an hour and 45 minutes ago. South Africa's bowling attack has been immense, and the target for Sri Lanka will be around 250. This is a cracking pitch that is making for an intriguing contest.
You barely have time to breathe when Tahir is bowling. He races through another over, conceding just the two runs. Sangakkara has advanced to 23 off 67.
Since the spin bowlers entered the attack, Sri Lanka have scored 40-2 off 12 overs. Super effort from Duminy and Tahir. It's a return to pace though with Morkel coming back. Mathews has started confidently enough, moving to seven off 13 balls. Four from the over.
Imran Tahir continues into his seventh - he could bowl straight through his overs here - but he is soon sent to the rope by Mathews, who knows that he has a job to do for his side. It's a better over for Sri Lanka, but they are being made to wait to bring up three figures.
They get there off the next ball though as Sangakkara pierces the off-side for a single. They've needed 181 balls to get to three figures. From the next delibery, Morkel catches Mathews on the knuckle with a bouncer and the Sri Lankan skipper requires treatment. He's okay to continue though. He almost gets out off the next ball when miscuing the ball just out of the reach of Rilee Rossouw but South Africa have to be content with conceding just the three runs off the over.
We thought that Imran Tahir might bowl through, but we were wrong. Steyn is back to try to keep the squeeze on Sri Lanka, and perhaps to attempt to unsettle Mathews after that blow to the hand. Sangakkara moves to 29 off 76 with Mathews on 14 off 24. Sri Lanka have to make their move soon.
Morkel appeared to be building a head of steam, but Duminy is back to start his seventh over. He doesn't look as threatening as Morkel but he restricts Sri Lanka to a couple of singles.
Steyn lets out a huge appeal for LBW bowling to Mathews but the ball is clearing the stumps. It takes until the fourth ball for Sri Lanka to find a single, with just two coming from it. The run-rate is down to 3.39 runs per over...
WICKET! Mathews (19) c Du Plessis b Duminy
Sri Lanka look to be on their way to an improved over after hitting five from the first five balls, but with the sixth, Mathews plays a frustrated-looking shot straight to Du Plessis at mid-wicket. Sangakkara needs to go on the offensive...
WICKET! Perera (0) c Rossouw b Imran Tahir
It's going from bad to worse for Sri Lanka. Thisara Perera is unfortunate, but after edging the ball off De Kock's gloves into the hands of Rossouw, he has to walk. Tahir has his third wicket for 25 runs. He's been superb. Nuwan Kulasekara is the new man at the crease.
WICKET! Kulasekara (1) De Kock b Duminy
Well, not for long. Duminy catches the outside edge of Kulasekara and he walks. I say walks, because it doesn't appear as though the umpire gave it out. Top sportsmanship from the Sri Lankan but his team are folding alarmingly.
WICKET! Kaushal (0) LBW b Duminy
HAT-TRICK! Due to taking a wicket with the final ball of his previous over, JP Duminy is on a hat-trick and unbelievably, he takes it! The debutant Tharindu Kaushal is trapped in front of his stumps and the all-rounder is understandably delighted.
Four wickets have fallen in 14 balls, and now the onus is on Sangakkara to end his World Cup career in style (assuming that South Africa are going to win this game. Kyle Abbott is back on but Sangakkara goes on the offensive with 10 runs from three deliveries, including two boundaries. 11 come from the over.
WICKET! Sangakkara (45) c Miller b Morkel
All of Sri Lanka's hopes lie on Sangakkara's shoulders but he falls after swiping the ball to third man! It was a comfortable catch for Miller. The end looks nigh, but out of nowhere, we have rain in Sydney!
This period was rain was predicted earlier in the day, but fingers crossed, it shouldn't last too long. Fear not though South Africa fans. If it did go pear-shaped regarding the weather today, there is a reverse day in place tomorrow.
This break in play gives us time to reflect on a sensational bowling effort from South Africa. If you recall, they lost the toss and AB de Villiers admitted that they would have batted first as well. That setback has proven to be a blessing in disguise and all five bowlers haven't allowed the Sri Lanka batsmen any time to breathe.
JP Duminy deserves a special mention, not only for taking a hat-trick but stepping up the plate as South Africa's fifth bowler. I'm sure his skipper would have been content with the all-rounder going for 45 off 10 overs, but 3-29 off nine overs has helped take the game away from Sri Lanka. His quick-fire treble saw him dismiss Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and Thraindu Kaushal. In doing so, he becomes just the second South Africa to take a one-day hat-trick, with Charl Langeveldt being the first back in 2005.
The good news from Sydney is that the rain has subsided and we should hopefully have a restart time for you shortly.
The players are making their way back into the middle. I'd expect us to be back underway in the next five minutes.
Lasith Malinga is the last man in. Let's see what he has got.
Morkel is taking the direct approach to the tail-ender and he plays and misses at the first couple of balls after the delay. Malinga gets bat on ball off the next delivery, which is a no ball, and runs three, before Dushmantha Chameera adds another couple off the extra ball.
WICKET! Malinga (3) c Miller b Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir completes an excellent team and individual display by picking up the wicket off Malinga, who swats the ball straight to Miller at cover point.
Due to Sri Lanka's innings coming to an end with 12.4 overs remaining, it's going to be a quick turnaround as South Africa make a start to what should be an easy run chase. Stranger things have happened though...
Here come the Sri Lankan fielders, who are closely followed by Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock. They will be looking to get through this half-hour period with minimal fuss.
Statement of intent from Amla? He crashes a stunning shot through the off-side field for four off Lasith Malinga's first delivery, and although he plays and misses at the last ball, there doesn't appear to be much belief in the field.
Tillakaratne Dilshan is going to take the ball at the other end to try to find a bit of turn, but he sends down a short opener to De Kock, who flick the ball for a single. De Kock's has had a disappointing World Cup but this is a chance for him to get a few morale-boosting runs.
A bouncer from Malinga skids through to Amla but he does enough to pull the ball away for two. The fast bowler mixes it up by sending down a testing yorker to De Kock, but the left-hander survives. There's no thrills or spills about this South Africa start but they don't need to do anything silly at this stage.
The Dilshan experiment lasts just the one over, and Nuwan Kulasekara is into the attack. De Kock is supposed to be a man lacking in confidence but he directs a lovely shot past the point fielder to find the boundary, before cutting the ball through the same area for another four. The opener makes it three boundaries for the over with a shot through mid-wicket and South Africa are well on their way now.
A slower delivery from Malinga goes wrong and the full toss is put away by De Kock, who has raced to 18 runs from 12 balls. The left-hander adds two more, and Sri Lanka's misery is compounded when Malinga concedes a front-foot no-ball. He finds the yorker to stop any runs being added, but the Proteas add eight from the over.
Tharindu Kaushal is coming on for his first spell in ODI cricket. Big moment for the 22-year-old. The "mystery spinner" starts well but he concedes three to Amla after sending down a full toss. De Kock adds two with a flick to the leg-side, but he ends well, almost catching De Kock's outside edge.
WICKET! Amla (16) c Kulasekara b Malinga
Sri Lanka make the breakthrough when Amla lashes the ball down to third man where Kulasekara was there to take a good catch diving forward. That will be the interval.
That wicket is unlikely to have an effect on the result of this match but it at least gives Sri Lanka something positive to discuss during the dinner break. When we return, South Africa require 94 runs off 43.2 overs. See you then.
Welcome back everyone. We are just about ready to get back underway at the SCG. This should be plain-sailing for South Africa but if Sri Lanka can take a couple of wickets soon after the restart, who knows.
Malinga returns with a wide ball that is given the treatment by De Kock. This innings should ensure that he keeps his place should the Proteas make the last four.
Tharindu Kaushal will continue at the other end but he can't stop Faf du Plessis getting off the mark with a quickly-run single. it's a fine over though and De Kock has to be content with defending on the front foot.
Credit to De Kock and Du Plessis. They have plenty of wickets in hand to reach a small target but they are pushing for everything. Du Plessis gets two off the opening ball before the over ends in calamitous style for Malinga, who bowls a front-foot no-ball before following it with a wide. South Africa benefit with four runs from the last ball.
Kaushal has looked encouraging on his ODI debut but with the last ball of the over, a short delibery is given the treatment by De Kock, who cuts the ball for four. He moves on to 34 from 29, with Du Plessis on 7 from 10.
Dushmantha Chameera comes into the attack in place of Malinga, but he can't halt the runs being scored of the South African bat. De Kock smashes back-to-back boundaries, the second off a no-ball, before Du Plessis adds two more with a flick to fine leg. 16 from the over.
Kaushal is keeping De Kock and Du Plessis on their toes, and he's unlucky not to snare De Kock after the left-hander clipped the ball when playing off the front foot, with the ball dropping just to the side of the fielder. Just the two from the over.
FIFTY! Chameera is having a nightmare. After De Kock moves to 48 with a drive down the ground, the fast bowler throws down a massive wide that leaves the wicket-keeper with no chance. The next ball flicks off De Kock's helmeet for four before the opener moves one away from his fifty with a crushing pull straight to the fielder before he repeats the shot to get to his half-ton off 39 balls.
South Africa bring their hundred up off just 83 balls. They are playing without pressure, but their effort is showing how badly Sri Lanka played with the bat.
Thisara Perera has been introduced by Angelo Mathews, but it's only going to be a token effort. De Kock registers his 10th four before his 11th comes up after he inflicts a huge blow to the deep mid-wicket boundary. Kusal Perera makes a stunning effort to take a diving catch but he can only help the ball to the rope. De Kock moves to 61 off 47 with Du Plessis on 15 off 23 balls.
I'm not too sure how De Kock has struggled so badly in this tournament because he has put together such a balanced innings today. He adds another five runs in this over with ease and the Proteas are closing in on a place in the semi-finals.
De Kock advances to 69 from 52 balls with three off the first ball, before Du Plessis adds two in the remaining five deliveries. Kaushal has gone for 25 off his six overs, which is a decent effort on his ODI debut.
De Kock continues to play beautifully with another three through the covers, before a single from Du Plessis takes South Africa to within seven of victory. That becomes five when De Kock directs a full toss to third man, before a wide from Malinga gives De Kock the chance to cap the win with a boundary, and he does just that with a nice drive through the covers.
What a performance from South Africa. They have won their first ever match in the knockout stages of a Cricket World Cup in some style, beating Sri Lanka by nine wickets with 32 overs to spare. Much of the work was done in the field with Sri Lanka being dismissed for 133, but the batsmen still had a job to do to get their team over the line.
South Africa will play either New Zealand or West Indies for a place in the final.
That will be all from Sports Mole from this match. It's been a sad way for Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene to end their one-day careers, but all the credit goes to South Africa, who were ruthless in Sydney. Goodbye for now.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323
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