SA chokes Lanka

Jean-Paul Duminy's all-round performance with 51 runs and three wickets steered South Africa to a 12-run win over Sri Lanka in the first of the three-match Twenty20 series. Batting first after winning the toss, South Africa made 115 for six in 20 overs with Duminy top scoring. He hit a six and three boundaries during his 52-ball innings and added a crucial 56-run partnership with David Miller (25) for the fifth wicket. Duminy stood out with the ball too, taking 3-18 including two wickets in successive balls to help his team defend a modest score limiting Sri Lanka to 103 for nine in 20 overs. He was named player of the match.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said he was proud of his team that played under pressure after losing the five-match one-day international series 4-1. "I thought it was a good score on this wicket, I told them if we keep fighting, we will pull it through," he said. Duminy had Angelo Mathews (4) caught and bowled and Jeevan Mendis (0) caught in the deep with successive deliveries to reduce the Proteas to 62 for five. Kumar Sangakkara had two reprieves for his 59 not out and except for opener Kusal Perera (11), the other batsmen failed to reach double figures. Four batsmen — Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake and tailender Lasith Malinga were dismissed without scoring.

Sangakkara was dropped by Duminy on 12 off leg spinner Imran Tahir and on 24, Sri Lankan umpire Ranmore Martinesz turned down an appeal for caught behind off David Wiese. Television replays showed the ball brushing Sangakkara's bat before being caught by Quinton de Kock close to the stumps. Seamers Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel took two wickets each. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said his players played too many rash shots. "We have two more games and are looking forward to them," he said.

Earlier, off-spin bowler Sachithra Senanayake returned 3-14 for Sri Lanka to help restrict South Africa after their captain du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first. Senanayake trapped openers de Kock (5) and Henry Davids (1) lbw and then bowled du Plessis (8). Angelo Mathews accounted for AB de Villiers (15), who was caught by a diving Perera to leave South Africa struggling on 50-4 after which Duminy and Miller rebuilt the innings. Sri Lanka rested batsman Mahela Jayawardene, who also sat out the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa. Malinga was recalled to the Twenty20 side after the missing the fifth ODI.