Keshav Maharaj sweeps through Sri Lankan batting

Sri Lanka vs South Africa – 2nd Test

Keshav Maharaj captured his career-best figures

South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj’s excellent figures of 8 for 116 rattled Sri Lanka in the opening day of the second Test match at the SSC grounds on Friday.

The hosts, who won the first Test in Galle last week, ended the day one 277 for 9 in 86 overs after electing to bat first on a dry surface.

After being 116 for no loss, Sri Lanka lost 9 wickets for just 148 runs as Maharaj recorded the best figures by a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka, breaking Yasir Shah’s record of 7/76 in 2015.

The left arm tweaker, the only recognized spinner in the Proteas’ team changed the complexion of the game with some excellent spin bowling.

In the first session, Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunarathne and Danushka Gunathilaka accumulated 93 runs to set a solid platform. Both left-handers reached their half-centuries and recorded Sri Lanka’s first 100+ opening partnership in Tests since October 2016 and first at home after eight years.

Maharaj, broke the 116-run opening stand when he got Karunaratne caught behind with a drifting delivery down the leg side. In the very next over he scalped Gunathilaka when opener went for the slog sweep and top-edged to deep square leg, where Rabada took an impressive diving catch.

Kusal Mendis got off to a good start but found the sweep shot as his ‘Achilles Heel’ as he swept a rank-turner and top-edged to mid-wicket region, where Rabada ran a couple of meters to take another.

Photo Album – Sri Lanka Team Practice Session Before 2nd Test

Late in the second session, Mathews became the ninth Sri Lanka batsman to complete 5,000 runs in Tests, when he edged Lungi Ngidi to the third man boundary. Soon after tea, Maharaj found the edge of the shoulder the former captain’s bat who departed for only 10 runs, giving a low catch to first slip.

Number three batsman Dhananjaya De Silva and Roshen Silva added an invaluable 54 runs for the fifth wicket to keep the Lankan innings on the right path before Kagiso Rabada cleaned up the latter for 22 as the home team were restricted to 223 for 5 in 70 overs.

Maharaj’s ability to land the ball at the correct line and length proved to be too hot to handle for the Lankan lower order. Wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella lasted only 9 balls before becoming Maharaj’s fifth scalp.

De Silva top-scored for Sri Lanka with a fine 60 as he stroked a few of delightful strokes, both on the front foot and back foot to hold the innings together. The marauding spinner trapped De Silva with a straighter delivery, even though the on-field decision was not out, the visitors got the decision changed thanks to the DRS.

Dilruwan Perera was the fourth Sri Lankan batsman to be dismissed attempting the sweep off Maharaj while skipper Suranga Lakmal was sent back courtesy a screamer by Aiden Markram at short-extra cover.

Akila Dhananjaya and Rangana Herath hung-in to add 13 runs in 5.1 overs late in the day as South Africa delayed taking the new ball by four overs.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn though, will probably have to wait another day to get past former teammate Shaun Pollock to become the country’s leading wicket taker in Tests. He is tied with Pollock’s 421 wickets.


Full Scorecard

Sri Lanka

338/10 & 275/5

(81 overs)


South Africa

124/10 & 290/10

(86.4 overs)

Srilanka won by 199 runs

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Danushka Gunathilake c K.Rabada b K.Maharaj57107
Dimuth Karunaratne c Q.De Kock b K.Maharaj53110
Dananjaya de Silva lbw by K.Maharaj60109
Kusal Mendis c K.Rabada b K.Maharaj2134
Angelo Mathews c F.Du Plesis b K.Maharaj1024
Roshen Silva b K.Rabada2246
Niroshen Dickwella c F.Du Plesis b K.Maharaj59
Dilruwan Perera c L.Nigidi b K.Maharaj1724
Akila Dananjaya not out4391
Suranga Lakmal c A.Markram b K.Maharaj04
Rangana Herath c Dean Elgar b Keshav Maharaj3568
15 (b 4, lb 2, nb 1, w 8)
338/10 (104.1 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-116 (D Karunaratne, 34.3 ov), 2-117 (D Gunathilaka, 36.3 ov), 3-153 (K Mendis, 48.3 ov), 4-169 (A Mathews, 54.3 ov), 5-223 (R Silva, 69.6 ov), 6-238 (N Dickwella, 72.4 ov), 7-247 (D de Silva, 74.2 ov), 8-264 (D Perera, 80.1 ov), 9-264 (S Lakmal, 80.5 ov), 10-338 (R.Herath, 104.1 ov)
Dale Steyn173600 3.53
Kagiso Rabada203551 2.75
Lungi Ngidi14.21540 3.80
Keshav Maharaj41.1101299 3.14
Aiden Markram8.41240 2.86
Dean Elgar31100 3.33

South Africa’s 1st Innings

Aiden Markram lbw by Rangana Herath720
Dean Elgar c Dananjaya De Silva b Akila Dhananjaya04
Theunis de Bruyn c Niroshan Dickwella b Akila Dhananjaya38
Hashim Amla c Kusal Mendis b Dilruwan Perera1958
Faf du Flessis c Niroshan Dickwella b Dilruwan Perera4851
Temba Bavuma c Kusal Mendis b Dilruwan Perera1120
Quinton de Kock lbw by Akila Dhananjaya3231
KA Maharaj c Dimuth Karunaratne b Akila Dhananjaya24
Kagiso Rabada c Anjelo Mathews b Dilruwan Perera110
Dale Steyn lbw by Akila Dhananjaya02
Lungi Ngidi not out02
1 (nb 1)
124/10 (34.5 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-4 (D Elgar, 1.2 ov), 2-8 (T Bruyn, 3.2 ov), 3-15 (A Markram, 8.1 ov), 4-70 (H Amla, 21 ov), 5-85 (Du Plessis, 25 ov), 6-114 (T Bavuma, 30.3 ov), 7-119 (K Maharaj, 31.5 ov), 8-124 (De Kock, 33.2 ov), 9-124 (D Steyn, 33.4 ov), 10-124 (K Rabada, 34.5 ov)
Dilruwan Perera12.51404 3.20
Akila Dhananjaya132525 4.00
R. Herath91321 3.56

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

MD Gunathilaka c Dean Elgar b Keshav Maharaj6168
D. Karunaratne c Quinton de Kock b Lungi Ngidi85136
D.De.Silva lbw by Keshav Maharaj03
BKG Mendis (runout) Aiden Markram1827
A Mathews c Faf du Flessis b Keshav Maharaj71147
R. Silva not out3299
N. Dickwella not out77
1 (nb 1)
275/5 (81 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-91 (D Gunathilaka, 18.3 ov), 2-102 (De Silva, 20.2 ov), 3-136 (K Mendis, 28.4 ov), 4-199 (D Karunarathne, 48.1 ov), 5-263 (A Mathews, 79.1 ov)
KA Maharaj4041543 3.85
Kagiso Rabada80420 5.25
Aiden Markram71180 2.57
Theunis de Bruyn50200 4.00
Dale Steyn112300 2.73
Lungi Ngidi9591 1.00
Dean Elgar1020 2.00

South Africa’s 2nd Innings

Dean Elgar lbw by D.Perera3780
Aiden Markram lbw by R.Herath1424
Theunis de Bruyn b R.Herath101232
Hashim Amla b R.Herath618
Faf du Flessis c Anjelo Mathews b A.Dhananjaya713
KA Maharaj lbw by A.Dhananjaya01
Temba Bavuma c N.Dickwella b R. Herath6398
Quinton de Kock lbw by R.Herath812
Kagiso Rabada c A.Mathews b D.Perera1837
Dale Steyn c D.Gunathilake b R.Herath66
Lungi Ngidi not out44
26 (b 16, lb 5, nb 4, w 1)
290/10 (86.4 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-23 (AK Markram, 8.1 ov), 2-80 (D Elgar, 23.3 ov), 3-100 (HM Amla, 30.1 ov), 4-113 (F du Plessis, 35.1 ov), 5-113 (KA Maharaj, 35.2 ov), 6-236 (T Bavuma, 73.1 ov), 7-246 (Q de Kock, 75.5 ov), 8-280 (TB de Bruyn, 84.5 ov), 9-280 (K Rabada, 85.2 ov),10-290 (DW Steyn, 86.5 ov)
R. Herath32.55986 3.02
Dilruwan Perera304902 3.00
Akila Dhananjaya192672 3.53
Suranga Lakmal2080 4.00
Dananjaya de Silva2050 2.50
Danushka Gunathilaka1010 1.00