Cricket World Cup 2015: South Africa ease into semi-finals

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Sydney
Cricket World Cup 2015: South Africa stroll to semi-finals
World Cup quarter-final, Sydney:
Sri Lanka 133 (37.2 overs): Sangakkara 45, Tahir 4-26
South Africa 134-1 (18 overs): De Kock 78*
South Africa won by nine wickets

South Africa cruised into the World Cup semi-finals with a one-sided thrashing of a sorry Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Off-spinner JP Duminy took a hat-trick and leg-spinner Imran Tahir 4-26 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 133.

The Proteas then eased to their target for the loss of only one wicket in 18 overs, with Quinton de Kock making an unbeaten 78.

They go on to a last-four meeting with New Zealand or West Indies in Auckland on Tuesday.

South Africa's first knockout victory in 23 years of playing World Cup cricket takes them to a first semi-final since a famous defeat by Australia in 1999.

In reaching their target with 32 overs to spare, AB de Villiers' side also completed the fastest successful run chase in a World Cup knockout match as Sri Lanka, finalists in the previous two World Cups, wilted.

Former Australia captain Allan Border on Test Match Special
"All the talk ahead of the game was South Africa's inability to win in the knock-out stages. Sri Lanka were not allowed to get into the game. and South Africa have won the game in such a convincing manner, but you do feel sorry for the retiring Sri Lanka greats Sangakkara and Jayawardene."

Their lacklustre display was not befitting what turned out to be the final international match for Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's last ODI. The duo have scored 117 international centuries between them.

After the Proteas' pace bowlers made early inroads, the spin pair of Duminy and Tahir took advantage of a succession of loose shots, while South Africa were excellent in the field throughout.

Sangakkara, on the back of four successive hundreds, made a painstaking 45 and Lahiru Thirimanne a counter-attacking 41, but no other batsman reached 20.

To cap South Africa's day, wicketkeeper De Kock, who had managed only 53 runs in his six previous innings, returned to form with a string of cover drives.

Still, their victory was built on a brilliant bowling performance after losing the toss on an excellent pitch.

TMS statistician Andrew Samson
JP Duminy was the second South African to take a World Cup hat-trick after Charl Langeveldt against West Indies in Bridgetown in 2005Kumar Sangakkara recorded the seventh instance of a player scoring 500 runs in a World Cup. The most is 673 by Sachin Tendulkar in 2003
The previous fewest overs needed to win a World Cup knockout game is 20.1 overs by Aus (133-2) v Pakistan at Lord's in the 1999 final.The seven wickets taken by spinners equals the highest number by South Africa spinners in a one-day international

New-ball pair Kyle Abbott and Dale Steyn took the edges of Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan respectively before Sangakkara and Thirimanne steadied with stand of 65.

While Thirimanne was fluent through the off side, Sangakkara was stodgy, taking 16 balls to get off the mark and, at one point, having six from 42 balls.

When Thirimanne became the first of the seven wickets to fall to spin, Sangakkara was forced to watch from the other end as the middle and lower order fell around him.

With the ball holding in the pitch, Thirimanne patted back to Tahir and Jayawardene lobbed the same bowler to short mid-wicket.

Duminy, filling the fifth bowler slot which has caused South Africa problems during the tournament, then got to work to become the first Proteas player to take a World Cup hat-trick.

Michael Vaughan on 'excellent' South Africa

Angelo Mathews was caught at mid-on and, in Duminy's next over, Nuwan Kulasekara feathered behind before debutant Tharindu Kaushal was pinned leg before.

For 19-year-old Kaushal, it was a golden duck on his ODI debut having being added to the Sri Lanka squad on the morning of the match.

Sangakkara was left to play a lone hand, but his attempt at aggression was ended with a slash to third man off Morne Morkel.

He departed with 14,234 runs, a tally second only to Sachin Tendulkar, in 404 matches. This was the 150th one-dayer in which he batted with Jayawardene, who has 12,650 runs.

The ruthless South Africa chase ensured that they will not share another international partnership.

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 World Cup coverage.

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene only scored four in what is expected to be his last appearance for Sri Lanka
Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara is the top run scorer at the World Cup with 541 runs from his seven matches
Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn has now taken 10 wickets for South Africa during the 2015 Cricket World Cup
Quinton de Kock
South Africa's opening batsman Quinton de Kock registered his highest score so far in the 2015 World Cup

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