JP Duminy
JP Duminy of South Africa celebrates his hat-trick against Sri Lanka [Getty]

South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday and have become the first team to enter the semi finals of the 2015 ICC World Cup.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 133 in 37.2 overs and the Proteas had no trouble in chasing down the target. AB de Villiers saw his side seal a comfortable victory by nine wickets and confirm a berth in the semi finals.

The Lankans' record so far in the tournament made them favourites and their chances further improved after they won the toss and Angelo Mathews elected to bat.

Sri Lanka made some key changes to their playing XI and handed Tharindu Kaushal an ODI debut, who came in as a replacement for Rangana Herath and Kusal Perera was promoted high up the order ahead of Lahiru Thirimanne in the batting line-up.

He and Tillakaratne Dilshan opened Sri Lanka's innings and Perera gave away his wicket in the second over, Quinton de Kock took a magnificent catch to end the opener's innings, very early in the match. Dilshan soon followed and Sri Lanka were reduced to 2/4 in 4.1 overs.

The biggest mistake Sri Lanka made was to ask Thirimanne to come lower down the order instead of opening the innings. Kusal, who came in as a replacement for one of the injured players was asked to open the innings and failed to capitalise on the pressure.

The it was Kumar Sangakkara and Thirimanne's responsibility to keep the score board ticking and save wickets. Sangakkara struggled with the bat, while Thirimanne managed to attack South African bowlers.

But when De Villiers brought in his spin bowlers, JP Duminy and Imran Tahir damaged the Sri Lankan batting line up. They took seven wickets between them and in the end, it was mere formalities to pick 10 wickets for South Africa.

In reply, Hashim Amla and De Kock gave a good start to their side, before Amla was caught at square of third man in the seventh over. His dismissal was followed by the dinner break. Faf du Plessis replaced the opener and De Kock, who was in poor form kept the score board ticking.

He managed to get a half century and remained unbeaten until the end along with Du Plessis as South Africa made it to the last four of the World Cup. De Kock made 78, while Du Plessis managed 21 runs.

Imran Tahir, who claimed four wickets after giving away 26 runs, was adjudged man of the match.

It does look like this will be the last World Cup for several Sri Lankan players including the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Dilshan and Herath. It will disappointing for these players and Sri Lanka to end their World Cup in embarrassing fashion.

New Zealand and West Indies will take on each other in the fourth quarter final and the winner of the clash will face South Africa in the semi final.