Proteas make pressure toll in Colombo

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Captain Faf du Plessis welcomed Friday's victory over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International in Colombo – despite an inability to remove the dangerous Kumar Sangakkara.

Captain Faf du Plessis welcomed Friday's victory over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International in Colombo – despite an inability to remove the dangerous Kumar Sangakkara.

The Proteas reached a modest final total of 115 for six on the back of all-rounder JP Duminy's 51 and the hard-hitting David Miller's 25, later restricting the hosts to 103 for nine on a testing R Premadasa Stadium pitch.

Sangakkara, for his standalone 59 not out, had threatened to take the contest away from the visitors. Little support, however, ultimately left the Sri Lankans 12 runs short – and the recipients of an early deficit in the three-match series.

"For us, Sangakarra is the big man. He is the big wicket. If we can get him, we can get some pressure into their changing room. I thought when JP dropped him, we might have lost our chance, but luckily we got other opportunities. We had a plan to him as well and we pulled it off," said du Plessis.

"When Kumar was there was always a chance for them – he has been finishing games for Sri Lanka for years. Sometime in the middle they got into a good rhythm. But I knew if we go one wicket the pressure would be back on, and that's what happened."

Duminy was named Man of the Match for his 52-delivery cameo, which was later complemented by figures of three for 18 in four overs. The second match will get underway at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The same venue will host the third – and final – fixture on Tuesday.

"It's great to contribute with bat and ball, with me bowling more often now. I'm enjoying that new role. I had a bit of luck with their batsmen finding the fielders. The win is a big morale-booster for us," added Duminy.

"We might have to pop the champagne. We've been dead and buried for most of the ODI series, and it's great to start of the T20I series with the character we showed in the bowling performance. Hopefully we can take that momentum into the next two games"

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