Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla struck unbeaten half-centuries as South Africa cruised to a nine-wicket victory at the Riverside Ground on Friday to put a major dent in Sri Lanka`s hopes of reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.
After putting Sri Lanka in to bat, South Africa were set a target of 204 as seamer Dwaine Pretorius took 3-25 off 10 overs in an innings that was interrupted by a swarm of bees that invaded the pitch and sent the players and umpires to the floor.
All-rounder Chris Morris and pacer Kagiso Rabada further accounted for three and two wickets apiece. While Morris conceded 46 runs during his bowling spell, Rabada was comparatively economical with just 36 runs scored off his 10 overs.
After the early loss of Quinton de Kock, already-eliminated South Africa never looked troubled as Amla (80 not out) and Du Plessis (96 not out) stitched a partnership of 175 for the second wicket, playing with the kind of freedom not seen before by the team in a dismal tournament for the side.
Sri Lanka needed a win to move level with fourth-placed England in the race for semi-final places but struggled with bat and ball against an opponent who have now beaten them in 17 of their last 19 meetings.