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Imran Tahir took home his second-best ODI bowling figures on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
Imran Tahir took home his second-best ODI bowling figures on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

World Cup 2015: South Africa v Sri Lanka in 5 milestones

Sangakkara pulls off one last record before exit and Jayawardene is Tahir's bunny

The World Cup quarterfinal between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday finally saw the Proteas dust off the ‘chokers’ tag that they became associated with from previous editions of the tournament.

Here are five milestones to say why this match will remain memorable:

1. Sangakkara became the seventh player to score 500 or more runs in a World Cup tournament. The others in this list include Sachin Tendulkar (who has done this twice), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, and fellow Sri Lankans Tillekaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene.

A sad ending for Sangakkara. Photo: Reuters
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A sad ending for Sangakkara. Photo: Reuters

2. South Africa’s Jean Paul Duminy became the first bowler for his nation to take a World Cup hat-trick and the second South African after Charl Langeveldt to pull off this feat in an ODI (which happened 10 years ago in Barbados).

3. Imran Tahir became the second highest wicket taker in this world cup after Wednesday’s 4/26 haul—his second best ODI bowling figures. He now has 15 wickets in the 2015 World Cup and just one short of Australia’s Mitchell Starc. Tahir has also dismissed Mahela Jayawardene four times in ODIs, more than any other batsman he has bowled to. The second one in this personal hit list happens to be Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

4. Sri Lanka’s Tharindu Kushal, hailed as a ‘mystery spinner’ and the ‘ new Muralitharan’, became only the second player in the history of the game to make his debut in the knockout stages of a World Cup. England’s Wayne Larkin was the first one to have undergone such a baptism by fire, way back in the 1979 tournament semifinals.

5. The Sydney Cricket Ground is almost the new Mecca for ODIs, as Wednesday’s match was the 150th one it hosted. Only the Sharjah Cricket Ground has hosted more such matches (218).

Almost there, but not yet

Two records that could’ve changed the record books but didn’t happen:

1. Kumar Sangakkara needed just one stumping to become the first wicket-keeper to take 100 ODI stumpings. And he might never reach there; he decided to hang up his boots after the match.

2. De Villiers (1,142 runs in 21 innings) needed seven runs to pass Jacques Kallis (1,148 in 32) as South Africa’s leading World Cup run-scorer. The semifinals await, AB!

With inputs from AFP

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