Dominant Sri Lanka show no mercy
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka dominated another day in a series full of them, ending the second day of the Colombo Test at 151/3, a lead of 365, after bundling out South Africa for 124 on Saturday 21 July.
By the time stumps were drawn, Dimuth Karunaratne had reached a fourth consecutive half-century in the series, and was unbeaten on a 92-ball 59*. South Africa’s prospects of saving the series now look miniscule.
The omens on the second morning weren’t great for the visitors. Sri Lanka resumed the day at 277/9 in their first innings, but for all South Africa’s hopes of snuffing them out early and working towards the total, the last-wicket pair of Rangana Herath (35) and Akila Dananjaya (43*) added 74 to boost them to 338.
South Africa never looked like matching that total. They lost three wickets within the 11 overs that remained in the morning session – Dean Elgar (0), Theunis de Bruyn (3) and Aiden Markram (7) – and after resumption, they failed to build partnerships big enough to make any serious dent on the home side.
There were a couple of promising associations. Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla added 55 runs for the fourth wicket, displaying the sort of patience needed to tackle spin in the sub-continent. However, Sri Lanka harried, and eventually broke through, with Dilruwan Perera prompting an inside-edge off Amla (19) that lobbed to the short-leg fielder.
Du Plessis, who had scored a decent 51-ball 48, then gave his wicket away needlessly. He looked to go big through mid-wicket, having found success in that region in the previous ball, but the ambitious sweep was mis-timed, and he feathered an edge to the ‘keeper.