Sydney- It took 23 years, but South Africa’s World Cup curse has finally been lifted - fittingly at the same venue where it was first imposed.

South Africa barely broke a sweat as it chased down the 134 set by Sri Lanka to win the Proteas’ quarter-final clash at the SCG, losing just the one wicket of Hashim Amla in the process.

Quinton de Kock (78 not out) and Faf du Plessis (21 not out) guided South Africa home inside 20 overs, but the victory was set up by hat-trick hero JP Duminy and spinner Imran Tahir, who orchestrated a Sri Lankan collapse.

It’s the Proteas’ first ever knockout victory in a World Cup, while Sri Lanka was hoping to reach its third consecutive final.

Way back in 1992 South Africa lost its first ever World Cup semi-final in farcical circumstances at the SCG. A rain-affected match left them requiring an impossible 22 runs off one delivery against England.

Wednesday’s match was briefly stopped for rain, but South Africa’s chase was unusually straight-forward. Despite being billed as a battle between AB de Villiers and Kumar Sangakkara, de Villiers wasn’t even required to pad up.

South Africa’s bowling line-up has been a source of concern all tournament, but it certainly picked a moment to silence the critics.

Set up by the pace and bounce of Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel and finished off with a superb display of spin-bowling from Duminy and Tahir, Sri Lanka simply had no answer. This from a team that came close to chasing down 376 against Australia at the same venue just over a week ago.

The constant pressure created by the Proteas in the field even got the better of the tournament’s leading run-scorer Sangakkara, who batted at a glacially slow pace before running out of partners.

Part-timer Duminy, who has always been encouraged to bowl his gentle offies a bit more, nearly had his hat-trick go unnoticed as the first wicket came off the last ball of his eighth over, before he struck with the first two deliveries of his ninth.

He became the eighth player to take a World Cup hat-trick and the first South African ever to do so in the tournament.

Duminy’s first victim was Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews, who was caught in the slips by Faf du Plessis. His second scalp brought out an extraordinary moment of sportsmanship when Nuwan Kulasekara walked after getting a faint edge, despite the umpire not raising his finger.

The rout was completed when Duminy trapped debutant Tharindu Kaushal leg before for a duck.

At that stage Sangakkara was still at the crease, but with Sri Lanka already eight wickets down for just 116 runs the veteran batsman left himself with far too much work to do.

It took him 16 balls to get off the mark and when he eventually decided to quickly up the run rate, he was caught in the deep by David Miller off the bowling of Morkel for 45 off 96 balls.

Sri Lanka never recovered from a horror start that saw them lose both openers early on, then Tahir took four scalps to end with figures of 4-26.

South Africa will play either New Zealand or the West Indies in the semi-final.

Courtesy: Fox Sports