CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: Opener Kusal Perera smashed 61 to steer Sri Lanka to five-run win over South Africa in a tight contest in its World Twenty20 opener on Saturday.
Sri Lanka put up a respectable 165-7 and in response South Africa was restricted to 160-8.
Perera gave Sri Lanka a fluent start, hammering Dale Steyn 17 in the first over. Steyn however retaliated handing Tilkaratne Dilshan a first-ball duck at the same over.
During the course of his fifth half-century, Perera hit six four and three sixes in just 40 balls. After his dismissal, Mathews drove the innings to safety, before Steyn removed him in the last over.
Mathews hit three fours and a six in 32 balls.
In between, leg-spinner Imran Tahir ripped through the Sri Lankan middle order, claiming his career best 3-26.
Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel picked two wickets apiece.
JP Duminy hit 39 while Quinton de Kock made 25. Kock and Duminy added 50-run to keep South Africa in the contest but a late flurry of wicket led its sensational collapse. AB de Villiers contributed 24.
Sachitra Senanayake claimed 2-22 for Sri Lanka. Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews and Ajantha Mendis grabbed one wicket apiece.