Sri Lanka in South Africa, 2 Test Series, 2020-21
Venue: The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Date: 03 January-07 January, 2021
RR: 5.03 | South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets
That's your lot for the day. It was a ruthless show by South Africa to win the Test series and now they will prepare for the challenge in Pakistan. For Sri Lanka, it was a tour to forget and they will return home to host England. We look forward to your company for future games. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
South African skipper, Quinton de Kock doesn't think it was a revenge series for them and mentions that after a year like 2020, they just wanted to get off to a good start in their next season. Tells that he is quite impressed with a lot of performances and adds that the seniors also fulfilled their roles. Mentions that Keshav Maharaj was a bit unlucky but he understands his role. Confirms that there is no major injury concern with Maharaj. Praises his four seamers and feels that they will get better with more experience. Shares that it's mixed emotions travelling to Pakistan as he is keen to play some cricket but the bubble life can be frustrating.
Sri Lankan skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne starts by saying that they had a good start with the bat but then suddenly lost a few quick wickets. Feels that they fought back hard but only in patches. Counts the positives and names Kusal Perera who performed well and also praises Asitha Fernando and Vishwa Fernando. Hopes to take the positives into the England series. Shares that Mathews might come back, Chandimal is also recovering and that's good news for them. Feels that they can dominate at home and they have a couple of spinners to trouble England.
DEAN ELGAR GETS THE MAN OF THE MATCH AND SERIES AWARD! Says that he was frustrated after getting out in the 90s in the first Test but he just wanted to keep that aside. Adds that he had some success in these conditions and it's great to contribute. Regarding his improved scoring rate, Elgar jokes that they are now calling him the Kusal Perera of South Africa. Mentions that he is not taking a lot of unnecessary risks and this is something that has come with experience. States that he just looks to score and stay positive. On the upcoming tour of Pakistan, Elgar shares that he has never been there and it's going to be an awesome challenge, something that every cricketer has to experience. Talks about his partnership with Markram and tells that they have worked really hard and opening the batting for the same team in domestic cricket has helped. Feels there is good chemistry between them and they help each other in getting better.
There were big hopes from the pair of Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella but they encountered a motivated South African bowling attack. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje bowled a hostile spell and then it was the same old story with the Lankan batting. Lutho Sipamla finished things off and Sri Lanka managed to set a target of only 67 which was easily overhauled by the home team.
The evening of Day 2 was all about the Sri Lankan fightback with Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne leading the charge. They added 85 for the second wicket and things started to return to normalcy for the visitors. However, a mini-collapse in the evening pushed them back slightly. They entered Day 3 ahead by 5 runs and with the hope to build a big lead.
Getting bundled out for only 157 in a little over 40 overs on Day 1, as a team, you are always behind the 8-ball. That was the case with Sri Lanka as well. Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen compounded their misery with a record partnership for the second wicket at this venue. Through Vishwa Fernando's magnificent 5-wicket haul, the touring team did make a little comeback but a deficit of 145 on this pitch was always going to haunt them.
The Islanders were decimated in Centurion and the script didn't change much in Johannesburg. Depleted by injuries, they fielded a second choice XI and it was a brave decision by Dimuth Karunaratne to bat first on a spicy Wanderers pitch. Soon that call was proved to be wrong as Anrich Nortje ran amok and destroyed their batting with a 6-wicket haul. Not to forget Wiaan Mulder's contributions too as his first spell showed the African bowlers the path after an unconvincing beginning.
Commanding victory for South Africa and they win their first Test series since 2018. By doing so, they have also avenged their last Test series loss against Sri Lanka. Job well done by the Proteas!
Just a little over 30 minutes taken by South Africa to score the remaining runs. The South African balcony is ecstatic and the players are now getting together to congratulate each other. Mark Boucher will be a very satisfied coach and Quinton de Kock is also happy as he starts his Test captaincy stint with a series win.
Dasun Shanaka to bowl.
Vishwa Fernando to continue from the other end.
Dean Elgar is not ready and pulls out. Asitha aborts his run midway and returns to his mark.
Welcome back for what could be the final session of this Test series. Funny things have happened in cricket but the chances of anything other than a South African win here looks next to impossible. Only 43 runs left for a win and Sri Lanka would like to avoid a 10-wicket loss. Let's see how things pan out.
.....DAY 3, SECOND SESSION.....
A satisfying session for South Africa! Their bowlers did an incredible job to bundle out Sri Lanka this morning and restricted their lead to only 66. The African openers had a little period of 5 overs to negotiate before Lunch and they did that safely by scoring 24 runs. Another 43 needed for a clean sweep and we will be back to finish the formality at 12.40 pm local (1040 GMT).
Is that taken? Kusal Mendis is claiming the catch. Umpire Erasmus is unsure and walks up to his partner. They have a chat and decide to go upstairs. Sri Lanka are very sure about it and almost leaving the ground for Lunch. Soft signal is out. Let's find out. It has touched the ground, the soft signal is overturned and the Lankan players return to bowl the remaining balls of the over.
Asitha Fernando to bowl from the other end.