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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 06:29 GMT
Sri Lanka win to take finals spot
VB Series, Hobart, match 12
Sri Lanka 257-9 beat South Africa 181 by 76 runs

Malinga Bandara
Bandara gave the perfect performance from a supersub

Sri Lanka crushed South Africa by 76 runs in the VB Series eliminator in Hobart to join Australia in the final.

Winning the toss on a good wicket that took some turn, Sri Lanka finished on 257-9 after being set for a much larger score at the mid-innings point.

However, their total - built around Marvan Atapattu's 80 - proved more than adequate as South Africa produced a dismal performance with the bat.

Malinga Bandara shone with four wickets as South Africa were skittled for 181.

Sri Lanka's second-wicket pairing of Atapattu and Kumar Sangakkara (62) took them to a formidable platform of 175-1 with 15 overs to go.

But South Africa refused to panic and put the pressure back on their opponents with some accurate bowling and sharp fielding.

We can certainly give Australia a run for their money, there's no doubt
Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody

The medium-pacers got stuck into the middle and lower order and too many Sri Lankan batsmen holed out in the deep.

Tillakaratne Dilshan hit Andrew Hall (3-50) for a four and a six in the final over to boost his team's cause.

But at the midway point, it seemed South Africa were slight favourites to win.

Chaminda Vaas had other ideas as the left-arm seamer removed Boeta Dippenaar and Herschelle Gibbs quickly.

With South Africa never quite on top of the required run rate, the crucial wicket came in the 27th over, when Graeme Smith (67) became the fourth man to be dismissed with the score on 113.

Justin Kemp fell lbw next ball as leg-spinner Bandara struck a purple patch and there was suddenly no way back for the Proteas.

It all finished in the 44th over when Charl Langeveldt gave Dilshan a cheap wicket by slogging straight to the man at cow corner.

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