The Sri Lankan spinners set up the game beautifully for the hosts, as South Africa ended day 3 on 139/5, needing a further 351 runs for victory.
On another glorious morning in Colombo at the SSC, Sri Lanka resumed their 2nd innings on 151/3, 365 runs ahead of the wounded South Africans.
The South Africans were stumbling so bad on day two making the wicket look worse than what it actually was. Sri Lanka looked hardly troubled in their 2nd innings. That was the case on the third morning as well, with overnight batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews going about their business comfortably.
Since Dimuth Karunaratne made his Test debut for Sri Lanka….
Mathews who has been struggling for form during the past couple of years in Test cricket, started to look good as he inched towards a half century with the Sri Lankan lead growing fast. Karunaratne too went about his business smoothly as he closed in on a 2nd century in the series, after having gone past the half century mark in all four innings he batted.
Karunaratne though was eventually found out outside off stump, again. The introduction of Lungi Ngidi saw Karunaratne drawn into a false stroke 15 runs away from a century, to give Quinton de Kock his 150th dismissal in Test cricket.
Roshen Silva, another man short of runs and his place under threat once Chandimal comes back for Sri Lanka’s next Test, walked in at no. 6 and survived a few nervy moments before he eventually settled down to doing what he does best, wearing down the opposition.
Always with a big smile on his face, he hardly hits the…..
Mathews finally got to a much needed half century off his 89th ball as he looked up to the heavens in relief. His knock included six boundaries as Sri Lanka went into lunch on day 3 at 237/4.
Sri Lanka crawled at a slow pace after the break. Silva was firm in defence while Mathews looked to move on before he was dismissed by Maharaj for a well constructed 71. The Sri Lankan camp decided 490 was good enough target as they declared their innings on 275/5 with Silva unbeaten on 32*.
South Africa survived a few close calls early in their pursuit of the daunting target, before Aiden Markram was trapped in front by the old man Rangana Herath for 14.
Theunis de Bruyn joined Dean Elgar as the South Africans looked comfortable in the series for the first time, though Elgar survived a few close calls especially against Dilruwan Perera.
Dilruwan had the last laugh when he finally trapped Elgar in front for 37, as that wicket opened the familiar flood gates of the Proteas during their tour of Sri Lanka.
When Sri Lanka walked back into the dressing rooms on 277/9 after the 1st Day’s play in the ….
338/10 & 275/5
124/10 & 290/10
Srilanka won by 199 runs
Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings
|Danushka Gunathilake||c K.Rabada b K.Maharaj||57||107|
|Dimuth Karunaratne||c Q.De Kock b K.Maharaj||53||110|
|Dananjaya de Silva||lbw by K.Maharaj||60||109|
|Kusal Mendis||c K.Rabada b K.Maharaj||21||34|
|Angelo Mathews||c F.Du Plesis b K.Maharaj||10||24|
|Roshen Silva||b K.Rabada||22||46|
|Niroshen Dickwella||c F.Du Plesis b K.Maharaj||5||9|
|Dilruwan Perera||c L.Nigidi b K.Maharaj||17||24|
|Akila Dananjaya||not out||43||91|
|Suranga Lakmal||c A.Markram b K.Maharaj||0||4|
|Rangana Herath||c Dean Elgar b Keshav Maharaj||35||68|
South Africa’s 1st Innings
|Aiden Markram||lbw by Rangana Herath||7||20|
|Dean Elgar||c Dananjaya De Silva b Akila Dhananjaya||0||4|
|Theunis de Bruyn||c Niroshan Dickwella b Akila Dhananjaya||3||8|
|Hashim Amla||c Kusal Mendis b Dilruwan Perera||19||58|
|Faf du Flessis||c Niroshan Dickwella b Dilruwan Perera||48||51|
|Temba Bavuma||c Kusal Mendis b Dilruwan Perera||11||20|
|Quinton de Kock||lbw by Akila Dhananjaya||32||31|
|KA Maharaj||c Dimuth Karunaratne b Akila Dhananjaya||2||4|
|Kagiso Rabada||c Anjelo Mathews b Dilruwan Perera||1||10|
|Dale Steyn||lbw by Akila Dhananjaya||0||2|
|Lungi Ngidi||not out||0||2|
Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings
|MD Gunathilaka||c Dean Elgar b Keshav Maharaj||61||68|
|D. Karunaratne||c Quinton de Kock b Lungi Ngidi||85||136|
|D.De.Silva||lbw by Keshav Maharaj||0||3|
|BKG Mendis||(runout) Aiden Markram||18||27|
|A Mathews||c Faf du Flessis b Keshav Maharaj||71||147|
|R. Silva||not out||32||99|
|N. Dickwella||not out||7||7|
|Theunis de Bruyn||5||0||20||0||4.00|
South Africa’s 2nd Innings
|Dean Elgar||lbw by D.Perera||37||80|
|Aiden Markram||lbw by R.Herath||14||24|
|Theunis de Bruyn||b R.Herath||101||232|
|Hashim Amla||b R.Herath||6||18|
|Faf du Flessis||c Anjelo Mathews b A.Dhananjaya||7||13|
|KA Maharaj||lbw by A.Dhananjaya||0||1|
|Temba Bavuma||c N.Dickwella b R. Herath||63||98|
|Quinton de Kock||lbw by R.Herath||8||12|
|Kagiso Rabada||c A.Mathews b D.Perera||18||37|
|Dale Steyn||c D.Gunathilake b R.Herath||6||6|
|Lungi Ngidi||not out||4||4|
|Dananjaya de Silva||2||0||5||0||2.50|