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Cricket | Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2018/19

Sri Lanka © Gallo Images

Wickets galore at St George’s Park

An incredible 18 wickets fell on day two as the second test between South Africa and Sri Lanka sped along to its conclusion at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday with the visitors in the ascendancy.

It was a day where momentum swung both ways at pace and kept viewers on the edge of their seats

At the end of it all, after being 197 to win, Sri Lanka were left needing 137 more in their second innings to, not only whitewash South Africa for the second time in eight months, but also become the first sub-continent side to secure a series win in South Africa.

When stumps were drawn on Friday, Sri Lanka had knocked off 60 of the required runs but for loss of two wickets.


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"Everybody knows what is expected of them," said bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake.

"The leadership has said, 'just go out and enjoy yourselves'. Everybody is aware of history being made but that should be at the back of the mind. Everybody has the freedom to bat how they want to do at the right time."

Kusal Mendis (10) and Oshada Fernando (17) will take up the fight on Saturday in pursuit of history for the visitors.

South Africa’s bowlers got the job done in the first session on Friday bowling Sri Lanka out 154 to give them an overall lead of 68.


Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella swung lustily to make 42 off 36 balls and was the last man out, but for the rest it was a procession of wickets.

There was a good effort from Kagiso Rabada in particular who finished with 4-38 while Duanne Olivier claimed 3-61.

Lakmal said a key for Sri Lanka's bowlers was that they bowled consistently in the right areas.

"The accuracy and intensity has been good," he said.

"We are quite confident that we are going to win," said Lakmal. But it's not going to be easy. The bowling of South Africa is of a world-class level."

South African batting coach Dale Benkenstein insisted the test was still on a knife-edge.

"It hasn't been our best series," he said. "We didn't know a lot about a lot of their players. We may have been a little bit complacent.

"But the game is still on the line. A good start (for South Africa) tomorrow morning and it could very hard to get those runs."


South Africa’s top-order woes continued as they could only manage a paltry second-innings total of 128 in reply.

Hashim Amla looked good for 32 but it was captain Faf du Plessis who stood firm for the home side in making 50 not out while wickets tumbled around him.

Suranga Lakmal ran through the middle- and lower-order to finish with 4-39 while spinner Dhananjaya de Silva played a good supporting role in finishing with 3-36.

The Proteas need a victory to avoid a first series defeat on home soil in 10 years. Graeme Smith’s team was the last to lose against overseas opposition going down 2-1 to Australia in 2009.

Report Day 1

SOUTH AFRICA: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (capt), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Duanne Olivier

SRI LANKA: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando


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