Yet another average display of batsmanship left Sri Lanka staring down the barrel again; at the stumps on day 03 of the 1st Test against South Africa, the visitors were left needing 221 runs to win with only 7 wickets in hand.
Chasing a daunting target of 304 runs (considering the bowling attack, inexperienced batting line up with a long tail and inconsistent pitch) in the fourth innings at Kingsmead, Durban, Sri Lanka openers showed their intent with a confident and positive approach in the middle. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanna compiled a 42-run partnership before Thirimanna went for an expansive drive off Kagiso Rabada’s bowling, only to grant an easy catch to the opposition captain Faf du Plessis for 21.
Then, Karunaratne was found guarding his stumps at 20 by Vernon Philander’s precision bowling to throw away the good start they managed. Kusal Mendis may not want to watch his dismissal again as he chased a short and wide one off Duanne Olivier’s bowling, perishing before opening his account.
Debutant Oshada Fernando and the only half-century maker for Sri Lanka in the previous innings, Kusal Perera were adventurous with their shots, but left unscathed when umpires called off the day’s play due to bad light. Fernando and Perera were on 28* and 12* respectively at stumps.
Earlier in the day, South Africa started the day 3’s proceedings with skipper Faf Du Plessis and wicket keeper batsman Quinton de Kock at the crease on 126/4, leading by 170 runs. Unlike the bowling effort from last evening, the Sri Lanka fast bowlers looked a bit flat in the first hour of play, letting the Protea duo play some shots to keep that lead moving towards 200.
Unfortunately, in the 49th over in-home team’s 2nd innings, Kusal Mendis was struck on his finger by an edge off du Plessis’s bat which dropped just in front of him at second slip. The blow looked painful as he was sent to the dressing room for medical treatment.
Lasith Embuldeniya and Kasun Rajitha put on a fighting 32-run partnership for the 9th…
After a dull morning session where the Sri Lankan bowlers did not look threatening, they seemed to have come to the field with a magic potion in their stomachs, particularly Lasith Embuldeniya and Vishwa Fernando, who dominated the post lunch session proceedings to restrict South Africa to 259.
After being on 227/5, skipper Faf du Plessis and all-rounder Vernon Philander returned to the middle to extend the lead which was at 271. But they could only add another 24 runs to the total as young left-arm spinner mbuldeniya went straight through Philander’s bat and pad to find the middle stump.
Du Plessis looked assured at the crease before Vishwa Fernando launched a probing spell of fast bowling to rattle the skipper’s defense. Fernando yorked Du Plessis to appeal for a leg before wicket, but the umpire ruled that not out since there was bat on it. Replays showed that the ball hit the shoe first but unfortunately, Sri Lanka didn’t review it. Fernando had the last laugh however, as he trapped du Plessis again in his next over, this time plumb in front.
— ThePapare.com (@ThePapareSports) February 15, 2019
It was a Vishwa-Lasith show from then on as they picked up the last 5 South African wickets for 9 runs. Embuldeniya was the star of the day for Sri Lanka as the debutant picked up 5 scalps for 66 runs. His precise line and length and variation of speed was impressive for a 22-year old, playing his 1st international.
The fourth day will commence tomorrow at 1.30pm Sri Lankan time.
235/10 & 259/10
191/10 & 304/9
SL won by 1 wicket
South Africa’s 1st Innings
|Aiden Markram||b V Fernando||11||27|
|Dean Elgar||c N Dickwella b V Fernando||0||4|
|Hashim Amla||c K Mendis b S Lakmal||3||10|
|Temba Bavuma||(runout) V Fernando||47||66|
|Faf du Plessis||c N Dickwella b K Rajitha||35||54|
|Quinton de Kock||c V Fernando b K Rajitha||80||94|
|Vernon Philander||c & b K Rajitha||4||22|
|Keshav Maharaj||c N Dickwella b V Fernando||29||35|
|Kagiso Rabada||c O Fernando b V Fernando||3||16|
|Dale Steyn||b L Embuldeniya||15||26|
|Dane Olivier||not out||0||6|
Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||lbw by V Philander||30||59|
|Lahiru Thirimanne||c de Kock b D Steyn||0||15|
|Oshada Fernando||lbw by D Steyn||19||42|
|Kusal Mendis||c du Plessis b V Philander||12||24|
|Kusal Janith||c Z Hamza b D Steyn||51||63|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c D Steyn b D Olivier||8||12|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c D Olivier b K Rabada||23||33|
|Suranga Lakmal||c A Markram b D Steyn||4||6|
|Lasith Embuldeniya||c D Steyn b K Rabada||24||63|
|Kasun Rajitha||(runout) A Markram||12||30|
|Vishwa Fernando||not out||1||9|
South Africa’s 2nd Innings
|Dean Elgar||c & b L Embuldeniya||35||70|
|Aiden Markram||c K Mendis b K Rajitha||28||31|
|Hashim Amla||c L Thirimanne b V Fernando||16||35|
|Temba Bavuma||lbw by L Embuldeniya||3||16|
|Faf du Plessis||lbw by V Fernando||90||182|
|Quinton de Kock||lbw by L Embuldeniya||55||62|
|Vernon Philander||b L Embuldeniya||18||54|
|Keshav Maharaj||b V Fernando||4||13|
|Kagiso Rabada||c N Dickwella b L Embuldeniya||0||2|
|Dale Steyn||b V Fernando||1||6|
|Dane Olivier||not out||2||7|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||2||0||8||0||4.00|
Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||lbw by V Philander||20||47|
|Lahiru Thirimanne||c du Plessis b K Rabada||21||51|
|Oshada Fernando||c du Plessis b D Steyn||37||76|
|Kusal Mendis||c de Kock b D Olivier||0||8|
|Kusal Janith||not out||153||200|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c & b D Steyn||0||2|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||lbw by K Maharaj||48||79|
|Suranga Lakmal||c du Plessis b K Maharaj||0||1|
|Lasith Embuldeniya||c A Markram b D Olivier||4||12|
|Kasun Rajitha||lbw by K Maharaj||1||10|
|Vishwa Fernando||not out||6||27|