AB confident of CWC triumph

AB de Villiers (AFP)
AB de Villiers (AFP)

Sydney - South Africa captain AB de Villiers said he was growing in confidence that his side will be crowned Cricket World Cup champions on March 29.

The Proteas reached the semi-finals on Wednesday with a nine-wicket rout of Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground to set up a clash against either New Zealand or the West Indies.

Chasing just 134 to win, the Proteas reached their target in the 18th over with opener Quinton de Kock making an undefeated 78.

Earlier, South Africa dismissed Sri Lanka - won won the toss - for just 133, with leg-spinner Imran Tahir taking four for 26 and off-spinner JP Duminy, whose figures included a hat-trick, three for 29.

"I'm quietly confident. I'm always a positive kind of guy - I always believe in big things," said de Villiers.

"I spoke to (fast bowler) Morne Morkel, who loves fishing, and I said it's almost like you've got the big fish on the hook and you've got to reel it in."

He added: "We had a really good feeling when we came to the ground today. We were almost obsessed with our goal.

"We always knew JP would probably have to bowl 10 overs, so for him and Imran Tahir to come on in a crucial stage of the game and perform like that gives the spinners a lot of confidence."

The result on Wednesday meant that Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene would go into their ODI retirement without a World Cup title having played in the Sri Lanka sides which were runners-up in 2007 and 2011.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews admitted his team suffered severe stagefright.

"A score of 130 was not much. There were no demons on this track. But we didn't bat well. Maybe it was nerves, we didn't go for our shots and it's easily our worst performance we have done in the World Cup and it happened to be in the quarter-final," he said.

Mathews said it was a disappointing finish for his two stalwarts.

Both Sangakkara, who will continue to play Tests, and Jayawardene, now finished with all international cricket, were allowed to lead the players off the field, sharing warm embraces with their South African rivals.

"It's disappointing to not make it a memorable one for Mahela and Sanga," said Mathews.

"On behalf of the nation and the team I thank them for their invaluable service. The best thing for us would have been to go to the final and win it for them but it was not to be."

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