Second Test at SSC Grounds Ruthless Sri Lanka five strikes away from 2-0

Published : 9:15 am  July 23, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Angelo Mathews
Pix by Kushan Pathiraja


Dimuth Karunaratne


By M. Shamil Amit

South Africa in pursuit of a massive victory target of 490 runs were struggling at 139 for five when play ended on day three of the second Test match which continued at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place yesterday.
It was the right-arm spinner Akila Dhananjaya who did the damage when he dealt a double blow with South Africa’s score at 113 for three.

In his ninth over he grabbed the wickets of Skipper Francois du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj in successive deliveries to send the Proteas reeling to 113 for five.

South Africa of course made smooth progress with the openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram negotiating with much caution. 

But with the score at 23 Rangana Herath made the breakthrough and despite the decision being reviewed it turned in favour of the bowler.

Elgar joined Theunis de Bruyn and they succeeded in posting their 50-run partnership for the second wicket.

Elgar was given a life when South Africa were 56 for one. Elgar who edged a catch to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella walked out of the crease but was called back with the Third Umpire citing Dilruwan’s delivery as a no-ball.  However, after the pair had added 57, Dilruwan made the breakthrough trapping Elgar who made 37.

Hashim Amla continued his barren run as he did not last long making six runs before becoming Herath’s second victim.

Earlier, Sri Lanka who resumed from their overnight score of 151 for three made steady progress through Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews.

Karunaratne played with confidence and look set to reach his century but it was not to be as his innings came to an end edging a catch to wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock and was unfortunate to miss out on a hundred.
His knock of 85 came in 136 balls that included a dozen boundaries whilst adding 63 runs for the third with Mathews. 

Karunaratne ended the two Test series with a tally of 356 runs.

Mathews found a reliable partner in Roshen Silva and the pair further frustrated the South African bowlers as Sri Lanka reached 237 for four at lunch.

Mathews cracked 71 with seven boundaries and added 64 for the fifth wicket.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj was once again the top wicket-taker with three scalps and ended with 12 wickets in the match.