New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel claimed a second Test five-for but Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal came to Sri Lanka's rescue as 12 wickets fell on day two of the first Test in Galle.

The excellent Akila Dananjaya (5-80) and Lakmal (4-29) wasted no time in dismissing the tourists for 249 in the morning session after they had resumed on 203-5, Ross Taylor failing to add to his overnight score of 86.

Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (53) and Angelo Mathews (50) put Sri Lanka in a promising position, but Patel (5-76) generated sharp turn as Dimuth Karunaratne's side collapsed to 161-7 losing five wickets for 18 runs.

Dickwella (39 not out) and Lakmal (28 not out) ensured the first of two Tests was finally poised at stumps, though, seeing Sri Lanka through to 227-7 - a deficit of just 22 runs.

Taylor fell off the first ball he faced on the second day edging Lakmal behind with a loose stroke, and the paceman struck again by trapping Mitchell Santner leg before.

Tim Southee came down the track to dispatch Dhananjaya de Silva over the ropes, but was run out later in the over.

Trent Boult - who had the ball lodged in his helmet after attempting a sweep - added a useful 18 before Lakmal polished off the tail as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 44 runs.

Lahiru Thirimanne gifted the Black Caps a breakthrough when he was stumped giving Patel the charge in his first over and Karunaratne could have followed in the next over from William Somerville, but Taylor put him down at first slip.

Sri Lanka took lunch on 34-1 and Karunaratne (39) looked in good touch until he was snared lbw by the probing Patel with 66 on the board.

Kusal and Matthews played positively against the spinners, hitting Somerville and Santner respectively for six as they put on 79 for the third wicket.

A lapse in concentration cost Kusal on the stroke of tea, though, the right-hander wafting at a flighted delivery from Patel immediately after reaching his half-century and offering Taylor a simple slip catch.

That sparked a collapse, with Boult getting rid of Kusal Perera and De Silva also failing before Patel secured his fifth wicket by getting one to turn away from Mathews, who edged to Taylor at slip.

Somerville sent Dananjaya on his way for a duck as the procession of wickets continued, but Dickwella and Lakmal provided much-needed resistance with an unbroken stand of 66 to give Sri Lanka a great chance of taking a first-innings lead.

Faf du Plessis could not hide his disappointment after South Africa suffered a shock series whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka.

The tourists became the first Asian nation to win a Test series in South Africa after wrapping up an eight-wicket win in the second meeting at St George's Park.

Du Plessis had seen his side earn a first-innings lead, but Sri Lanka – led by Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando's unbroken 163-run partnership – sealed a remarkable turnaround as a thrilling encounter finished inside three days.

The Proteas captain was left to lament a sub-par display from his team and offered no excuses for the outcome.

"[It's] very disappointing, up there with the most disappointing from my personal point of view," he said.

"We were poor with the bat right through the series. Both teams underperformed with the bat on two pitches that were conducive to scoring runs.

"Two guys scoring big runs like those two [Fernando and Mendis] should have happened.

"Ninety-nine percent of our dismissals were soft, judgment errors and that's only fingers pointing back at ourselves.

"It is mind-blowing that 31 wickets fell in two days; it felt like a superb wicket. 

"The last two Tests, we were not one as a team. We did not take them for granted ... maybe perhaps the guys were mentally a little bit off. But again, that's no excuse."

Dimuth Karunaratne lauded his side's work ethic and ability to enjoy the occasion after Sri Lanka became the first Asian nation to win a Test series in South Africa.

The tourists wrapped up an eight-wicket victory on day three of the second Test to seal a 2-0 series whitewash.

Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis' unbeaten 163-run partnership saw the Lions chase down the 197 required for victory at St George's Park on Saturday, much to the delight of captain Karunaratne.

"It's really a great feeling," he said, having seen his side bounce back from series whitewashes in New Zealand and Australia. "It's not easy when you come to South Africa and win a series.

"A lot of hard work, we did really well, enjoyed it a lot, and that's why we created history.

"I think the tours of New Zealand and Australia were really tough, we learnt a lot. The players wanted to do better for the team and for themselves. They realised what to do and what not to do, and that's why we are here."

The skipper conceded, however, that he was concerned after the Lions only posted 154 in their first innings. 

"I want to thank the youngsters, like Vish [Vishwa Fernando], [Lasith] Embuldeniya, Oshada [Fernando]. Then with the bowling, Kasun [Rajitha], Suranga [Lakmal] – all put their hands up.

"First-innings batting is a concern, we were behind the game at all times, but came back really well thanks to the bowlers.

"I have to dedicate this win to all the guys who supported us, the Sri Lankan fans who supported us. They backed us when we kept losing, we wanted to do something for them."

Sri Lanka became the first Asian nation to win a Test series in South Africa after wrapping up a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph on Saturday.

The tourists returned to St George's Park on Saturday requiring 137 runs to secure victory – and a 2-0 series success – inside three days and, having resumed on 60-2, did so without losing any further wickets.

It was the superb efforts of Oshada Fernando (75) and Kusal Mendis (84) that saw Sri Lanka over the line, particularly as a tough opening session had been predicted after 18 wickets fell on day two.

But after chasing down a total of over 300 in the first Test, the 197 required this time did not seem to unduly trouble the Lions, who were aggressive in their pursuit of history.

The result marks an incredible turnaround for Sri Lanka, who had conceded a 58-run first-innings lead to the Proteas after being dismissed for 154.

There were very few moments of concern for the apparently unflappable Fernando and Mendis, who were much improved from their showings in the first innings, where the former was out for a duck and the latter a quick-fire 16.

Fernando's desire to get the job done as quickly as possible was evident from the two maximums he struck, the second of which drew the scores level.

That left him with the honour of knocking off the single that sealed the win before lunch, taking the partnership up to an unbroken 163 and sparking jubilant celebrations among the travelling contingent. 

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.

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