Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara held their nerve in the death overs with accurate fast bowling as Sri Lanka beat South Africa by five runs in their World Twenty20 opener in Chittagong.
Opener Kusal Perera's assault of 61 of 40 balls gave Sri Lanka the tempo at the start of their innings and Angelo Mathews provided the late fireworks to lift them to 165 for seven after their captain Dinesh Chandimal had won the toss.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the pick of the Proteas' bowlers with three wickets for 26 runs.
South Africa had the upper hand chasing 166 for victory and needed 19 runs off the last two overs with five wickets in hand.
But Kulasekara gave away just four runs and picked up the wicket of Farhaan Behardien (five) to leave South Africa needing 15 runs off limited-overs specialist Malinga's final over.
Tahir (eight not out) managed a last-ball six but the chase had already gone out of South Africa's reach.
JP Duminy (39) top-scored for the Proteas, who ended on 160 for eight, and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake was the most successful Sri Lankan bowler with figures of two for 22.
Heartbreak for England
Captain Brendon McCullum played one of the most important six-ball knocks of his career to lead New Zealand to a nine-run win over England via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-marred match.
England had good reason to feel unlucky after Moeen Ali and Michael Lumb featured in a 72-run stand for the second wicket and, down the order, Jos Buttler chipped in with a cheeky cameo to help them to 172 for six.
Chasing 173 for victory, McCullum hit two sixes off rival skipper Stuart Broad in the fifth over before the heavens opened and his team were left on 52 for one after 5.2 overs.
No further cricket was possible and because Duckworth-Lewis only comes into play in Twenty20 when five overs are bowled by each team, the Kiwi's innings proved vital.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies