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03 December 2023

Dilshan and Guptill warm up by blasting centuries

Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates 100 runs during the Cricket World Cup one-day warm-up match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch on February 9, 2015. (AFP)

By Reuters

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by five wickets with just three balls to spare in a thrilling rain-interrupted World Cup warm-up on Monday.

Sri Lanka smashed 279 for seven in their innings, which was reduced to 44.4 overs after rain stopped play at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan laid the foundations for a big Sri Lankan total when he belted exactly 100 off just 83 deliveries, which included 15 boundaries and two sixes.

He was well supported by the Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, who made a quickfire 58 off 49 balls, and Dimuth Karunaratne, who chipped in with 46 off 61 deliveries.

Kyle Abbott was the pick of the South Africa bowlers, taking 3-37 while all-rounder Wayne Parnell bagged two wickets.

When the rain stopped and the South Africans started their reply, they were initially set 230 to win off 30 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Despite being without their captain AB de Villiers, who was rested as a precaution because of tightness in his hip, the Proteas made a flying start.

Quinton de Kock (66) and Hashim Amla (46) put on 115 for the opening wicket in 15 overs before the rain returned, forcing another delay.

South Africa's target was reduced to 188 off 25 overs, leaving them needing 72 of 10 overs with 10 wickets in hand.

What seemed like an easy chase suddenly began to look tricky when they lost de Kock and Amla in the first over after play resumed, then three more wickets before the end of the 23rd over.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath snatched three wickets for Sri Lanka, leaving South Africa requiring 21 off the last 14 balls, but Rilee Rossouw (16 not out) and Vernon Philander (13 not out) safely guided the Proteas to victory.

South Africa will play their final warm-up against New Zealand in Christchurch on Wednesday, while Sri Lanka will face Zimbabwe the same day.

The World Cup starts on Saturday when co-hosts New Zealand meet Sri Lanka in Christchurch and Australia play England in Melbourne.  

New Zealand's warm-up with Zimbabwe abandoned

Rain forced the abandonment of Monday's cricket World Cup warm-up match between New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

The match was called off after just 30 overs were completed at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, at Lincoln University.

New Zealand, one of the favourites to win the World Cup they are co-hosting with Australia, were struggling at the time, having slumped to 157 for seven when the weather halted play.

Zimbabwe were set a revised target of 156 off 30 overs to win but the match was called off before the Africans could commence their reply.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill blasted an even 100 for the home team off 86 balls, featuring 13 boundaries and two sixes, but got little help from his team mates with only Ross Taylor (11) making double figures.

Tinashe Panyangara and Elton Chigumbura both captured two wickets each for Zimbabwe, one of the rank outsiders for the World Cup.

New Zealand will play their final warm-up against South Africa in Christchurch on Wednesday, while Zimbabwe will face Sri Lanka the same day.