Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test, Day 2 Review: Karunaratne piles on spin-stunned South Africa's agony

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test, Day 2 Review: Karunaratne piles on spin-stunned South Africa’s agony

Sri Lanka lead by 272 runs.

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne. (Photo Source: ICC)

Tentative, panicky and anxious the South African batsmen looked ordinary, average and certainly not world class. Their troubles rather fears against quality spin bowling on a turning track were out in the open for all to see. Galle produced a rank turner as was evident on the very first day. Sri Lanka though in a fragile situation themselves posted 268 on the back of Dimuth Karunaratne’s brilliance who got the lower order’s support. The Proteas lost one wicket on the first evening in just the 4 overs that were played.

Rangana Herath at 40, is an old warhorse but in the sub-continent or anywhere the surface has something to offer he’s always in play and a force. He got Aiden Markram caught at slip by Angelo Mathews in his second over of the evening. On the following morning, he bowled a beautifully tossed up arm-ball and Keshav Maharaj had no clue.

South Africa’s deficiency against spin

Herath’s partner Dilruwan Perera then got into action and Dean Elgar’s technical flaw against spin ensured he edged the ball to slips. He needed to use a review against Hashim Amla who attempted to flick a ball that turned sharp. It kissed his gloves and was caught at short leg and was picked up in the ultra-edge. In no time South Africa were 51 for 6 and in all sorts of troubles.

The only positive for them was that skipper Faf du Plessis was still there in the middle. He needed to pull off a Karunaratne – stitch partnerships with the lower order to bail his team even a bit out of the deep waters. He had a seventh-wicket partnership with Vernon Philander that got them past the 100-run mark. The duo added 64 runs together but it was once again Perera who ended Philander’s 86-ball stay.

In the next over the Lankan skipper, Suranga Lakmal got his first wicket dismissing his opposite number who turned 34 today. Faf was dismissed on 49 and that was literally the end of South Africa’s struggle. Lakmal cleaned up Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn in his next couple of overs and the Proteas were bowled out for 126 their lowest score in Sri Lanka.

Amidst all that Sri Lankan fans in the stands had a placard with them poking fun at AB de Villiers’ comments about Sri Lanka tour being an off-season contest.

When the Lankan openers walked out again they had 161 runs in their bag pack, their task was just to extend it beyond South Africa’s reach even in wild presumptions. Karunaratne was at it once again and with Gunathilaka and bettered their opening stand from the first innings. They shared a 51-run stand for the first wicket and that almost demoralized the Proteas bowlers.

Keshav Maharaj fought back well to pick three wickets dismissing Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Angelo Mathews who couldn’t even open his account. Towards the end of the day’s play, Rabada got the big fish Karunaratne for 60 and Sri Lanka went into stumps 111/4.

Brief Scores:

1st Innings:

Sri Lanka – 287 all out (Dimuth Karunaratne 158*; Kagiso Rabada 4/50, Tabraiz Shamsi 3/91)

South Africa – 126 all out (Faf du Plessis 49; Dilruwan Perera 4/46, Suranga Lakmal 3/21)

2nd Innings:

Sri Lanka – 111/4 (Karunaratne 60; Keshav Maharaj 3/37)

Sri Lanka lead by 272 runs

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