A calm Dinesh Chandimal approached the toss on a ground that seemed like Sri Lanka's home away from home. Having won their last nine games in Bangladesh, there was little that Chandimal and co were not aware of and it helped them hold on to a five-run win over South Africa in their ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 Group 1 game at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
Rain ruled the other match of the day and much to the disappointment of England, who posted a huge 172-6, became the victims of a sudden spell of shower. And the Kiwis, who were 52-1 in 5.2 overs when the game was stopped, won the contest by 9 runs on D-L method.
Back in the first game, Sri Lanka rode on a 40-ball 61 from Kusal Perera to post 165 after electing to bat. In reply, the Proteas, despite making a good start, finished on 160 for eight.
South Africa's chase began through some majestic hits from Quinton de Kock. He began by dispatching Nuwan Kulasakera in the third over for three consecutive boundaries. Chandimal brought in Lasith Malinga in the fourth and he immediately made amends with an inswinging yorker that got through the batsman.
Jean-Paul Duminy took over and hit Thisara Perera for two fours and a six in the eighth over. South Africa looked on track at 75 for one in ten. However, a flurry of wickets that saw Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers -- who was standing in for injured skipper Faf Du Plessis -- and Duminy depart in a span of five overs brought the game back into the balance. At the end of 16 overs, South Africa needed 46 off 24 with four wickets in hand.
Albie Morkel smacked two towering sixes off Ajantha Mendis but was caught inches from the wide long-on boundary-rope by Dinesh Chandimal attempting a third. From requiring 29 off the last three overs, it went down to an improbable 15 off a Malinga over.
Earlier, that Perera knew the conditions by the back of his hand was clear from the first over when he hammered Dale Steyn for 16 runs off the first five balls.
To his credit, Steyn came back well and bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan for a duck in the last ball. However, Perera continued in his vein, unleashing a series of pick-up shots against Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe in successive overs. He smacked 50 off just 29 balls, leading his side to 84 for three in ten overs, but lost his timing in the second half of the innings and lofted Imran Tahir to mid-off. Following that wicket, Angelo Mathews's 43, guided them to 165.