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S.Africa’s Du Plessis on form in warm-up win over Sri Lanka

25 May 2019 10:12 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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South Africa captain Faf du Plessis struck a fluent 88 as his side eased to an 87-run victory over Sri Lanka in a Cricket World Cup warm-up game at Sophia Gardens on Friday. 

South Africa were sent in to bat in the training match, which did not hold official One-Day International status, and posted 338 for seven, before bowling their opponents out for 251 in 42.3 overs. 

The Proteas were without fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is not fit after a re-occurrence of his shoulder problem, but were carried to the win by seamer Lungi Ngidi (2-12 in six overs) and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo (4-36 in 7 overs). 

Ngidi reduced Sri Lanka to 10 for two but excellent half centuries from captain Dimuth Karunaratne (87 from 92 balls) and Angelo Mathews (64 from 66 balls) kept the sub-continent side in the contest. 

The run-rate kept rising, though, and both batsmen were caught in the deep trying to accelerate the innings, with the guile of Phehlukwayo in particular stifling the chase. 
South Africa will be relieved with runs at the top of the order for opener Hashim Amla as he reached 65 from 61 balls before being bowled by leg-break bowler Jeevan Mendis. 

That may earn him the nod ahead of Aiden Markram (21) for South Africas World Cup opener against England on Thursday, with the pair vying for a place alongside Quinton de Kock, who did not bat on Friday. 

Du Plessis looked in superb touch for his 88 from 69 balls, which included four sixes before he skied a delivery from Dhananjaya de Silva and was caught. 

Several the other South African batsmen got starts but no-one else posted a half-century, though Rassie van der Dussen (40) and Phehlukwayo (35) enjoyed their visits to the crease.  

At Cardiff South Africa 338-7, 50 overs (Du Plessis 88, Amla 65) v Sri Lanka 251, 42.3 overs (Karunaratne 87, Mathews 64; Phehlukwayo 4-36)

Avishka Fernando stretchered off in warm-up game against South Africa

Avishka Fernando, the Sri Lankan batsman, had to leave the field after appearing to turn his ankle in Cardiff while playing against South Africa in an ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up match.
During the 18th over of the match on Friday, 24 May, Fernando was fielding in the covers when he put in a slide to field the ball from a shot from Faf du Plessis and landed awkwardly on his ankle.

He appeared in significant pain as soon as the incident took place, and a stretcher was needed to take him off the field.

Reports later said he underwent a scan, which revealed a minor ankle injury. He was strapped and iced and is expected to make a recovery.

Fernando had looked in great form heading into this warm-up match, making 74 in an ODI against Scotland, so an injury to him could affect Sri Lanka's chances.

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