Twitter Reactions: South Africa wins by an innings and 45 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the Test series

Twitter Reactions: South Africa wins by an innings and 45 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the Test series

Sri Lanka was dismissed for 180 as the home side took an unassailable lead in the two-Test series.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

They might have clean-swept South Africa 2-0 not too long ago in their backyard, not too long had they won at the same venue – Durban – to script a historic win, but come to the first Test series in this 2020-21 season, it was not meant to be for Sri Lanka, who have gone 0-1 down in the series, losing the Durban Test by an innings and 45 runs.

After putting 396 in the first innings on the back of some middle and lower-order grit – Dinesh Chandimal (85), Dhanajaya de Silva (79), Niroshan Dickwella 49), and Dasun Shanaka (66), a loss by an innings would not have been in the sights of the visiting party. However, credit to some lackadaisical and undisciplined bowling apart from a shower of injuries, and South Africa managed to pile a mammoth 621, taking a lead of 225.

While both Dean Elgar (95) and Faf du Plessis (199) missed crucial landmarks by margins thinner than a wafer, their efforts alongside half-centuries from Aiden Markram (68), Temba Bavuma (71), and a career-best 73 from Keshav Maharaj had already dragged the hosts out of the fear of losing the game. The day could have been any better for the hosts as after pushing Sri Lanka on the backfoot with the bat, Lungi Ngidi’s double blow was enough to stamp the third day of the match to South Africa’s credit.

Sri Lanka collapses in the second innings

Resuming from 65 for 2 on the morning of Day 4, it always seemed a matter of time for South Africa. Dinesh Chandimal (25) was cleaned up by a peach of a delivery from Wiaan Mulder, who also undid Niroshan Dickwella (10) in the same spell after the batsman flirted with a delivery slightly outside his off stump to deposit the ball into De Kock’s gloves behind the wickets.

Kusal Perera continued resiliently from his end, however, he failed to find any support. Once he was dismissed by Nortje, the slim expectations of Sri Lanka to make the hosts bat again vanished entirely. Wanindu Hasaranga (59 from 53) managed to notch up a half-century as debutant Lutho Sipamla and Nortje continued to wipe out the others. Reduced to 180 for 9, with Dhanjaya de Silva not fit to bat, Sri Lanka was dismissed for 180 as the home side took an unassailable lead in the two-Test series.

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