Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Faf du Plessis and Co falter against spinners as hosts inch closer to series sweep

Sri Lankan spinners proved to be a tough task for South Africa, with South Africa facing a mammoth task ahead as they attempt to overcome a lead of 351 runs with only five wickets remaining.

Reuters, Jul 22, 2018 18:47:51 IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s formidable battery of tireless spinners bowled them to within five wickets of a 2-0 series sweep over South Africa as the tourists continued to struggle against the turning ball in the second and final test on Sunday.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Faf du Plessis and Co falter against spinners as hosts inch closer to series sweep

Faf du Plessis was caught out by Angelo Matthews after a tricky deliver from Akila Dananjaya. AP

Chasing an improbable target of 490 to level the series, the tourists finished day three on 139-5, their highest total in the spin-dominated series, at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club Ground. At day's end, Theunis de Bruyn was batting after a gallant 45, showing the kind of application and positivity that were lacking in his colleagues while Temba Bavuma was on 14 at the other end.

Sri Lanka resumed day three on 151 for three, with an overall lead of 365 runs against a South African side who have yet to score 150 in the series, and decided to allow Angelo Mathews to bat himself into form.

The other overnight batsman Dimuth Karunaratne continued his strong run of form to score 85, his fourth 50-plus knock in as many innings, before falling to Lungi Ngidi. Mathews made 71 before being dismissed by South Africa’s left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj who finished with a 12-wicket match haul.

Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal soon declared on 275 for five, before unleashing his three-pronged spin attack who blew away the top half of the South African batting line-up. Dilruwan Perera enjoyed an eventful 36th birthday as he first spilled Dean Elgar and then twice dismissed the opener off no-balls before the finally sending him back for 37.

Rangana Herath bowled Hashim Amla with his drift and turn and Akila Dananjaya struck double blows when he dismissed South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (seven) and the scoreless Maharaj off successive deliveries. Lakmal, the lone paceman in the Sri Lanka attack, did not bowl himself in the first innings and has yet to roll his arm in the second as his spinners wreaked havoc against the leaden-footed South Africans.

Updated Date: Jul 22, 2018 18:47:51 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252