David Miller scored an 18-ball 40    AFP (File Photo)
David Miller scored an 18-ball 40 AFP (File Photo)

David Miller and Farhaan Behardien’s brilliant fifty partnership helped South Africa to 126 for 5 in the first T20I against Sri Lanka at Centurion. South Africa got off to good start, with the first over of the match from Angelo Mathews going for 10 runs. Experienced Nuwan Kulasekara was brought on to bowl the second over. Opening batsman Heino Kuhn pulled him to the fence through mid-wicket and was trapped in front for just 10 off the very next delivery. That brought on debutant Theunis de Bruyn to join another debutant JJ Smuts at the crease. De Bruyn got off the mark with a boundary off his very first delivery.

Suranga Lakmal was then brought on to bowl the third and the final powerplay over. Smuts put away a bad delivery to the fence and then launched Lakmal over covers for a six. He looked to go after Lakmal again, but top-edged one to the fielder on the off side. Asela Gunaratne then came on to bowl the third over. He bowled extremely well and gave away just 5 singles with his medium pacers. Spin was introduced for the very first time when Seekkuge Prasanna was brought on into the attack in the fourth over. De Bruyn looked to be in excellent form when he smashed Prasanna to the fence through covers.

Full Cricket Scorecard: South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st T20I at Centurion

David Miller in at 4, then made it an excellent over as he launched Prasana over his head for a six. But de Bruyn cut Prasanna straight to the fielder and his promising innings came to an end for 19. South Africa were 56 for 3 at the halfway stage with Miller and skipper Farhaan Behardien at the crease. Gunaratne bowled yet another excellent over, giving away just 7 off his second over.

Nuwan Pradeep in his next over gave away just 7 from his first 5 deliveries, but was smashed to the fence off the final ball of the over. With three overs to go, South Africa were 74 for 3. They needed some big blows to take them to around 120.

Live Cricket Updates: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I at Centurion

Mathews then brought himself on in the next over. Miller had seen enough by then and launched Mathews between long on and deep mid-wicket. Sri Lanka then had a run out chance but missed it. Miller then pounced on a short ball from Mathews and pulled it to the fence and the next went to deep cover fence. South Africa had picked up 19 from that over and were 93 for 3 at the end of the eighth over.

Kulasekara in the penultimate over bowled one over Miller’s head and the consequent free hit resulted in a boundary over cover. the next one sailed over mid-wicket, which brought up the 40-run stand between him and Behardien off just 23 deliveries. However, Miller holed out in the very next delivery for a 18-ball 40. New batsman, Mangaliso Mosehle on debut got off to the perfect start as he carved Kulasekara over the point fence. With one over to go, South Africa had 112 on the board.

Final over from Pradeep yielded 14 runs, which included a dropped catch, which went into the fence. Overall, South Africa will be happy with what they have on the board.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had won the toss and elected to bowl first in this rain-curtailed match. There were as many as 6 debuts today – 5 from South Africa 1 from Sri Lanka.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 126 for 5 in 10 overs (David Miller 40, Farhaan Behardien 31*; Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 27, Seekkuge Prasanna 1 for 14) vs Sri Lanka