Sri Lanka sense historic win after dramatic day two

By Sports Desk February 22, 2019

Sri Lanka are sensing an historic Test victory over South Africa after mounting a fightback on an astonishing day two that saw 18 wickets tumble at St George's Park.

No Asian team has ever won a Test series in South Africa, but Sri Lanka will achieve that feat on Saturday if they score the 137 runs they require in Port Elizabeth with effectively seven wickets remaining.

The tourists could surely not have envisaged being in such a promising situation when they were skittled out for 154 on Friday, Kagiso Rabada taking 4-38 as the Proteas claimed a first-innings lead of 68.

Sri Lanka, missing their main spinner after Lasith Embuldeniya suffered a dislocated thumb, then forced South Africa to collapse to just 128 despite an unbeaten 50 from captain Faf du Plessis, Suranga Lakmal (4-39) the pick of the bowlers.

That left Dimuth Karunaratne's side chasing 197 to go down in the record books and claim a whitewash, which looks to be very much on the cards after they reached stumps on 60-2 - essentially three down with Embuldeniya unable to bat.

Duanne Olivier took a sharp catch off his own bowling to remove Lahiru Thirimanne in the third over on a day which Sri Lanka started on 60-3 and Rabada got in on the act by bowling Kasun Rajitha with a beauty.

Niroshan Dickwella (42) and Kingsmead hero Kusal Perera (20) went on the attack, but Rabada removed them both and Wiaan Mulder claimed a maiden Test wicket as Sri Lanka folded.

South Africa lost the out-of-sorts Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma cheaply in their second innings, but were still very much on top at 90-3 before capitulating with a whimper.

Hashim Amla moved past Graeme Smith to become his country's second-highest run-scorer in the longest format before Vishwa Fernando had him caught at first slip by Kusal Mendis.

Du Plessis hung in there, but South Africa lost seven wickets for 38 runs, Lakmal getting rid of the dangerous Quinton de Kock caught and bowled and finishing a pitiful innings by trapping Olivier leg before after the impressive Dhananjaya de Silva took 3-36.

Sri Lanka were 34-2 after Thirimanne and Karunaratne nicked behind off Rabada and Olivier respectively, but no further damage was done, and they should fancy their chances of a stunning series win after chasing down over 300 in the first Test.

Related items

  • Inzamam to step down as Pakistan selector Inzamam to step down as Pakistan selector

    Inzamam-ul-Haq will step down as Pakistan's chief selector when his contract expires at the end of the month, he has announced.

    The former batting great took on the role in 2016 after quitting as Afghanistan coach, overseeing success in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

    However, Inzamam has decided to move on following Pakistan's unsuccessful Cricket World Cup campaign, which saw them fall just short of the semi-finals.

    "After more than three years as chair of the Pakistan men's selection committee, I have decided not to seek a renewal of my contract," he told a news conference.

    "With the ICC World Test Championship, due to get underway in September, the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020 and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, I believe it is the right time for the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a new chief selector who can bring new ideas and fresh thinking.

    "I spoke to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and managing director Wasim Khan on Monday and conveyed my decision to them separately.

    "I also thanked them for backing and supporting the selection committee since taking over the reins of Pakistan cricket.

    "The Pakistan cricket team has come a long way since the departures of stalwarts like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan in May 2017 and is now destined for improved results as the youngsters have grown in experience and stature.

    "They are now ready to excel and perform consistently across the three formats."

    As well as backing Pakistan to enjoy success in his absence, Inzamam also acknowledged he may have made mistakes during his time in charge.

    "It has been a pleasure to see these players grow and make names for themselves in international cricket," he said.

    "I will follow their progress with interest because I firmly believe these players have all the ingredients to take the Pakistan cricket team to greater heights.

    "The team could have performed better during my time than the results reflect and I may have inadvertently overlooked some potentially deserving players, but I have always had the best interests of Pakistan cricket foremost in my heart.

    "I hope the passionate Pakistan cricket fans will understand and can see this in my decisions."

  • How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals
  • Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k

    An Australia court has thrown out an appeal by media group Fairfax, which would have annulled damages owed to Windies star Chris Gayle who won a defamation suit against the entity last year.

    Gayle took the publishers to court after allegations that he exposed himself to a female masseuse during the 2015 World Cup came out in several of its publications.  More specifically, it was alleged that the batsman exposed his penis and indecently propositioned the woman in a dressing room during the tournament.

    The jury sided with the player, who strongly denied the allegations, in finding that the publishers acted with malice and accorded the cricketer damages amounting to US$211,000.  In its appeal, however, Fairfax argued that the jury should have been discharged after Gayle’s attorney attacked the credibility of the masseuse.  In response, the player’s legal team had appealed to increase the size of the payout to the West Indian star. Both appeals were dismissed.

     Fairfax newspapers are now owned by commercial broadcaster Nine Entertainment, which purchased the media company last year.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.