Sri Lanka in South Africa, 2 Test Series, 2020-21
Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Date: 26 December-30 December, 2020
RR: 3.9 | South Africa beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 45 runs
So that is it from this game! The South Africans have ended up taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Everything to play for then in the second Test for Sri Lanka which begins on the 3rd of January at 1000 local (0800 GMT). Till then, take care and goodbye!
The South African skipper, Quinton de Kock, starts off by saying that he is feeling good. Adds that on Day 1, they were slightly disappointed with their bowling but that they came back nicely towards the end of their bowling spell and they showed great character to finish off nicely. Feels that it was a good start by Markram and Elgar and they showed great intent. Says that they are not looking to do anything too different in the next game.
Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan captain, starts off by saying that they were in the driving seat as they scored nearly 400 and they did well as a batting unit. Credits his batters for their approach. Says that as a captain, they lost their main bowler and they did well in the first day but they have a couple of youngsters, who can come and do a job for him in the second test. Feels that they need to keep the momentum and a positive mindset and that the bowlers have done a good job for them, whenever the team has required them to. Tells that they want to take the positives from this game and move forward.
The Player of the Match is Faf du Plessis! He says that it was a good win and that they bowled alright but they showed good character as a batting unit and it is always good to contribute to the team. Adds that the important thing as a batting unit, is that they wanted to start well and they did that. Feels that he took his time to get going. Tells that as you look up at the scoreboard and see a deficit, you work on a partnership and then score more freely and they did that well. Feels that it was a good test match pitch and if you hit that channel while bowling, it would be good. Credits the groundsmen and adds that this was a free scoring match as well. Adds that he was feeling good in the lead up to this series and it was unique since he has not played red ball cricket in over a year and he wanted to just focus on the basics.
Tey took a lead of over 200 before declaring and from there on, it was a very difficult task for the Lankans to get back into the game. In the second innings, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Perera at the top and Hasaranga lower down the order showed some fight. The two scored half tons but a lot more was needed from them. In the end, it was a very one-sided game. Stay tuned for the presentation!
Then when South Africa came out to bat, the Lankans were dealt with another blow as they lost Rajitha in the initial overs itself due to injury! Then they kept drifting away from the game. The South African batters kept piling partnerships and that too in quick time. Three 100-plus run stands with Faf being the top scorer, falling one short of a double ton.
The Test started nicely for the visitors! They elected to bat and were set a good first innings total. However it could have been a few more had de Silva did not got injured. It was his partnership with Chandimal which looked at ease. However, once he walked off injured, Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals but they still amassed close to 400.
A very convincing win for South Africa in the end! Also, like predicted, this has turned out to be the last session. It was a no-brainer though as 2 wickets is all they needed. One though has to feel bad for Sri Lanka. They did not play as bad as the scorecard indicates. They were a lot better than that. Injuries though at crucial moments cost them big time. Not saying they would have won the game but it would have surely been a better contest.
Lahiru Kumara walks out to bat! The last man.
Nortje is on!
We are back for what could well be the last session of the Test! The South African players make their way out to the middle. Rajitha shows good fight to actually walk out and bat. Hasaranga to resume his innings. Markram to begin things. Kind of a surprise that.
... Day 4, Session 2 ...
South African's session and one just feels they are going to win this game in the next session! Wickets at regular intervals saw them finishing on top. Perera was the only one who showed some fight with a half ton but the rest just came and went. Not a lot of batting left now and they are still 77 runs away. An innings defeat looks on the cards. Stay tuned for what could be the last session.
A run out! It has though been taken upstairs, just to be sure.
Maharaj is on!
Sipamla is on now!
Hasaranga walks out to bat!
Another review by South Africa! An appeal for a caught behind has been turned down. There was a noise.
Dasun Shanaka walks out to bat.
The physio walks out and the magic spray is also out.
A huge appeal for an LBW but turned down! South Africa review. Seems to be pitching outside leg.
A huge appeal for a caught behind and it is given! Perera reviews so it might be off the pad.
Mulder to bowl from the other end!
We are all set to begin! Some good news for Sri Lanka to begin with! Chandimal is walking out to bat which probably means he has recovered from the injury he suffered yesterday. He will resume his innings with Perera. Lungi Ngidi to begin proceedings for South Africa. Here we go...
Faf du Plessis is down for an interview. He says he has been getting too many 50s and 60s and wanted to go on. Further adds he does not feel too much into the thought of proving himself and just wants to do well for his side.Mentions he is physically and mentally very well at the moment. On not being the skipper, Faf does not feel that captaincy was a burden and he was enjoying it. He does not feel the bad form was because of him being captain.
It has been all South Africa in this Test after Day 1. They are well on course of winning this game today itself. The already have 2 players out and with a potential injury to Chandimal, they well could be five down already. A miracle is what they’ll need to actually save this game. Their first aim will probably be to avoid an innings defeat and they are still 160 runs away from doing so. We will find out if they avoid it. Stay tuned...
... Day 4, Session 1 ...
Now, Sri Lanka would look to play with a good, positive intent further. Their hopes of winning the match look slim, as things are, so, their common minimum plan now has to be to fend off the South African bowling. But the hosts will look to breathe down their neck on Day 4 and seal things in their favour. Can the Saffas close it on Day 4 or will the Lankans grit it out? Join us on Tuesday, 29th December 2020, at 1000 Local (0800 GMT) to find out. Until then, take care and bye.
Besides him, Vishwa Fernando snared 3 wickets and Shanaka and Kumara managed 2 and 1 wicket(s) respectively. After that, the visitors entered to bat, their 2nd innings. They encountered early setbacks, with their skipper, Dimuth, and Kusal Mendis falling early. After that though, Chandimal and Kusal Perera have done well to stabilize things.
And South Africa did not declare there, with Maharaj continuing strongly, looking for a maiden 100 in Test cricket. However, he departed for 73 and South Africa finished with 621 on the board, with a lead of 225 on board. There was nothing great to speak of the Lankan bowling, with folks going off the field, courtesy injuries. Hasaranga, who went off and came back later, was the pick, with 4 wickets to his name.
Earlier in the day, du Plessis and Bavuma took off from where they left. They got an overall partnership of 179 before Bavuma walked to a ball which he did not edge (as per Ultra Edge). After that, Faf du Plessis got good support from Wiaan and Keshav and that saw South Africa's lead grow by leaps and bounds. Du Plessis though could not get to his first double ton in Tests, as he fell 1 run short.
Right then, the men from South Asia still trail by 160 runs with 8 wickets in hand. A job remains to be done, not an easy one, but with Kusal Perera in the middle, he will look to motivate his side. And the Sri Lanka players will look to maintain a positive attitude as well, as that is the only thing that can be their saviour.
An appeal for caught behind! Kusal Perera is the man in question. Ultra Edge shows there is a flat line when the ball passes the bat.
The physio is out in the middle. There is some issue with his leg. He is getting a strapping on his pad.
Dinesh Chandimal walks out to the middle now.
Kusal Mendis is the new batsman in.
Anrich Nortje to bowl from the other end.
We are all set to begin Sri Lanka's second innings. The South African players are out in the middle. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera will open the innings for Sri Lanka. Lungi Ngidi will start the proceedings for South Africa.