SA v SL 3rd Test Review: South Africa complete 3-0 whitewash riding on a collective effort

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 14: the Proteas celebrate the great catch of Faf du Plessis of the Proteas for the wicket of Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka during day 3 of the 3rd test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

What a mind-boggling performance it turned out to be from the Proteas as they defeated Sri Lanka in the 3rd and the final Test of the series at Johannesburg by an innings and 118 runs to complete a 3-0 whitewash on the islanders. Sri Lanka had ended the 2nd day’s play on 80/4 in their 1st innings and before the beginning of the day no one would have thought in their wildest dreams that Sri Lanka would lose 16 wickets in the day’s play.

But as they say, cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, the phrase was evident one more time as the South African pacers ran riot and dismissed the Sri Lankans cheaply in both the innings. While they were bowled out for 131 in their 1st essay, they could only manage 177 runs in their 2nd essay to surrender the series 3-0.


Beginning the day’s play at 80/4, Sri Lanka lost Dinesh Chandimal in the 5th over of the day to Vernon Philander. It was a perfect delivery just in the corridor of uncertainty which swung away just enough to take the outside edge of Chandimal’s bat. Quinton de Kock completed a comfortable catch behind the stumps.

Southpaw Upul Tharanga joined captain Angelo Mathews in the middle but their partnership couldn’t flourish as Mathews was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada in the 37th over of the innings. Again it was a perfect delivery from Rabada which moved away after pitching and despite Mathews being reluctant to play the ball, it took the outside edge of the bat and was brilliantly taken by de Kock behind the stumps.

Debutant Duanne Olivier took his maiden Test wicket in the 41st over when he dismissed Rangana Herath with a fierce bouncer and added one more to his kitty in a matter of minutes. The Sri Lankans were eventually skittled out for 131 in their 1st, trailing South Africa 295 runs. Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the South African bowlers who chipped in with 3 wickets.

With nearly 300 runs in the bag, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis decided to make Sri Lanka bat again and once again the bowlers rose to the occasion and bowled magnificently. Opener Kaushal Silva was dismissed by Rabada in the 2nd over of the innings with a peach of a delivery. It was just pitched back of a length and Silva jumped to tackle that. It took the glove and was brilliantly caught by der Kock in front of the first slip.

After a brief partnership between Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis, the latter was castled by Parnell with a fuller length delivery. The ball swung enough and Mendis missed it altogether which went and hit the timbers. Wickets kept falling as the Sri Lankans felt to build any substantial partnerships.

Debutant Duanne Olivier who chipped in with a couple of wickets in the 1st innings grabbed his opportunity with both hands as he removed Dhananjaya de Sliva and captain Angelo Mathews in quick succession. While Silva edged an outside the off stump delivery straight to du Plessis at the slip cordon, Mathews brought about his own downfall after playing a rash shot.

The visitors then lost Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne in quick succession which left them reeling at 108/6. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal came in and swung his bat for a few boundaries but that wasn’t enough to save Sri Lanka from the blushes. Comeback man Wayne Parnell bowled superbly and was the wrecker in chief as far as the hosts were concerned.

The islanders were eventually bundled out for 177 inside 43 overs to hand South Africa a massive victory by an innings and 118 runs. While South Africa would be very satisfied with their performance, Angelo Mathews and his men will have to pull up their socks before the start of their next assignment.

While JP Duminy bagged the Player of the Match Award, opener Dean Elgar who played superbly throughout the series was unanimously chosen as the Player of the Series.

Brief Scores

South Africa 426 (JP Duminy 155, Hashim Amla 134, Nuwan Pradeep 4/78)

Sri Lanka 131 (Kusal Mendis 41, Vernon Philander 3/28, Kagiso Rabada 3/44) & 177 (f/o) in 42.3 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 50, Wayne Parnell 4/51, Duanne Olivier 3/38)

South Africa won by an innings and 118 runs