SOUTH AFRICA TOUR OF SRI LANKA, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
Sri Lanka will look to wrap up SA's innings as quickly as possible © Getty
Sri Lanka's spin duo of Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera weaved their magic on South Africa's batsmen as they collapsed in a heap to find themselves in dire straits at 86 for 6, still behind by 201 runs at Lunch on Day 2. Herath bagged two scalps while Perera finished with three.
On a track offering some assistance for spinners, the visitors were all at sea against Sri Lanka's spinners. Most of the batsmen played down the wrong line as they kept looking for the turn and lost their wickets. Keshav Maharaj, the nightwatchman, was the first one to be dislodged. He played for the spin and was dismissed LBW by Herath's arm ball.
Elgar, who has a tendency to play with an angled bat against the off-spinner, was the next batsman to be dismissed. He too thought the delivery from Perera would turn, and attempted to play the drifter through the on side but could only edge it to slip.
For a while, Temba Bavuma (17) and Amla resisted the Sri Lankan spinners by employing the sweep and loft. Bavuma was intent on essaying the sweep while Amla skipped down the track twice in single over from Perera to loft it down the ground. Just when the pair seemed to have paddled through the rough storm, Perera snuffed out South Africa's mainstay Amla. He danced down the track but could only eke out an inside edge that deflected via his pad and into the hands of the FSL fielder. Initially, the on field umpire adjudged it as not out but the hosts took the review and the decision was overturned.
Bavuma followed Amla back to the hut as he tried a sweep off Lakshan Sandakan only to be castled via the inside edge. Quinton de Kock, the wicketkeeper-batsman, was the last one to fall before lunch, castled by a fine delivery from Perera that was well flighted and turned away from the left-hander to strike the off-stump. The replays to find out if Perera had overstepped were inconclusive, but the third umpire upheld the decision.
Faf du Plessis (18), the captain, and Vernon Philander survived a few anxious moments to guide them to the break. In fact, Philander could have been dismissed too but Herath and co. didn't take the review for an LBW. Herath continued to persevere and finally convinced the umpire to adjudge Philander LBW. This time around, the batsman took the review and replays suggested the impact was outside the off-stump as Philander survived.
The tourists have a lot of soul searching to do during the break and are in need of a miracle to revive themselves.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 287 (Dimuth Karunaratne 158*; Kagiso Rabada 4-50) lead South Africa 86/6 (Faf du Plessis 22*; Dilruwan Perera 3-28) by 201 runs.