South Africa kept their Champions Trophy hopes alive with a resounding win over Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad yesterday. Beaten by New Zealand in their opening match, South Africa had to win if they were to stand any chance of qualifying for next week's semi-finals.
Their chances of progressing to the last four seemed slim when Sri Lanka restricted them to 219 for 9, despite a late flurry of 22 off 16 balls from Robin Peterson. But South Africa's seamers overcame the handicap of bowling with a wet ball, caused by the evening dew, and dismissed Sri Lanka for 141 in 39.1 overs to seal a 78-run win.
South Africa now face a showdown with Pakistan later this week to determine whether they will qualify for the final stages of a tournament they won in 1998. Sri Lanka's hopes of staying alive in the tournament hinge on other results.
Man-of-the-match Shaun Pollock praised South Africa's character. The all-rounder hit an unbeaten 21 and then claimed two wickets. "I think we did really well at the end of our innings," said Pollock, who added 42 in less than five overs with Peterson to take South Africa past 200. We got nearly 100 runs in the last 15 overs and then put a bit of pressure on them when we bowled up front - we showed a lot of character as a team to go from 30 for three to fight back and win the way we did."