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'That's Why We Batted First...': Hasaranga Defends Himself After SL's Humiliating Loss Vs SA

Sri Lanka lost to South Africa in their tournament opener. (X)Sri Lanka lost to South Africa in their tournament opener. (X)

After suffering a heavy defeat to South Africa in the fourth match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in New York, Sri Lanka's captain Wanindu Hasaranga defended his decision to bat first, emphasizing their reliance on bowling strength to defend targets.

How the game panned out

On a pitch offering pace and bounce, Hasaranga chose to bat first. Unfortunately, the decision backfired as Sri Lanka experienced a severe batting collapse, registering their lowest total ever in T20 World Cups—77 runs. Ottneil Baartman struck early, dismissing Pathum Nissanka, and despite attempts by Kusal Mendis and Kamindu Mendis to stabilize the innings at 31/1, Sri Lanka lost five more wickets before reaching 50 runs.

The collapse proved disastrous, and Sri Lanka never recovered. Angelo Mathews managed a run-a-ball 16, but the team ultimately crumbled for 77. Anrich Nortje shone for South Africa, claiming four wickets.

“Our batters tried for 160-170. To be honest this was a 120 wicket especially with our bowlers. We went with our strength - our bowling, that's why we batted first. We wanted to put a score and then defend. This is early in the tournament and we have three more games, we want to do much better, especially with our batting talent. If our batting does well, we can finish well,”  said Wanindu Hasaranga after the match.

South Africa chased down the target within 17 overs. Heinrich Klaasen maintained his good form, hitting a four and a six in his unbeaten 19 off 22 balls, guiding South Africa to a six-wicket victory in the 17th over.