COLOMBO: Sri Lanka closed in on a series whitewash against South Africa on Sunday, leaving the visitors five down and with a mountain to climb after the third day of the second Test.
By stumps the spinners had ripped their way through the Proteas batsmen yet again to leave them reeling on 139 for 5 in pursuit of an impossible-looking 490 victory target in Colombo. Against batsmen who clearly decided that attack was the best form of defence, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took two wickets apiece, with off-spinner Dilruwan Perera also dismissing Dean Elgar.
The wickets fell despite repeated errors from Sri Lanka, who dropped two catches and could have had Elgar out twice beforehand had Perera not overstepped when bowling the delivery that dismissed him. But this will likely have only delayed the South Africans’ first series defeat by Sri Lanka since 2006. There are only three recognised batsmen remaining and two full days left to survive.
By stumps, number three batsman Theunis de Bruyn, who survived two very close lbw shouts early in his innings, was 45 not out, with a chance of recording his team’s first half-century of the series.
Sri Lanka first innings:
South Africa first innings: 124
Sri Lanka second innings (overnight 151-3)
D. Gunathilaka c Elgar b Maharaj 61
D. Karunaratne c de Kock b Ngidi 85
D. De Silva lbw Maharaj 0
K. Mendis run out (Markram) 18
A. Mathews c du Plessis b Maharaj 71
R. Silva not out 32
N. Dickwella not out 7
Extras: (1 nb) 1
Total: (5 wickets declared, 81 overs) 275
DNB: D. Perera, A. Dananjaya, S. Lakmal, R. Herath
Fall: 1-91 (Gunathilaka), 2-102 (de Silva), 3-136 (Mendis), 4-199 (Karunaratne), 5-263 (Mathews)
Bowling: Maharaj 40-4-154-3, Rabada 8-0-42-0, Markram 7-1-18-0, de Bruyn 5-0-20-0, Steyn 11-2-30-0, Ngidi 9-5-9-1, Elgar 1-0-2-0
South Africa 2nd innings:
D. Elgar lbw Perera 37
A. Markram lbw Herath 14
T. de Bruyn not out 35
H. Amla b Herath 6
F. du Plessis c Mathews b Dananjaya 7
K. Maharaj lbw Dananjaya 0
T. Bavuma not out 14
Extras: (8b, 4lb, 4nb) 16
Total: (5 wickets, 41 overs) 139
To bat: Q. de Kock, K. Rabada, D. Steyn, L. Ngidi
Fall: 1-23 (Markram), 2-80 (Elgar), 3-100 (Amla), 4-113 (du Plessis), 5-113 (Maharaj)
Bowlers: Herath 15-1-54-2, Perera 16-4-38-1 (3nb), Dananjaya 10-2-35-2 (1nb)
Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Rod Tucker (AUS)
TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS) Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS).
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