Top order leaves Sri Lanka in trouble after lefties’ heroics

Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2019 | 1st Test – Day 03


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.

Photos: Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2019 | 1st Test – Day 03

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.

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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.

Embuldeniya, Rajitha duo keep Sri Lanka in the game

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.

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.


Full Scorecard

South Africa

235/10 & 259/10

(79.1 overs)


Sri Lanka

191/10 & 304/9

(85.3 overs)

SL won by 1 wicket

South Africa’s 1st Innings

Aiden Markram b V Fernando1127
Dean Elgar c N Dickwella b V Fernando04
Hashim Amla c K Mendis b S Lakmal310
Temba Bavuma (runout) V Fernando4766
Faf du Plessis c N Dickwella b K Rajitha3554
Quinton de Kock c V Fernando b K Rajitha8094
Vernon Philander c & b K Rajitha422
Keshav Maharaj c N Dickwella b V Fernando2935
Kagiso Rabada c O Fernando b V Fernando316
Dale Steyn b L Embuldeniya1526
Dane Olivier not out06
8 (lb 6, nb 2)
235/10 (59.4 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
0-1 (D Elgar, 1.4 ov), 9-2 (H Amla, 6.1 ov), 17-3 (A Markram, 7.4 ov), 89-4 (du Plessis, 24.2 ov), 110-5 (T Bauma, 29.2 ov), 6-131 (V Philander, 37.4 ov), 7-178 (K Maharaj, 45.6 ov), 8-186 (K Rabada, 49.6 ov), 9-219 (D Steyn, 56.4 ov), 10-235 (de Kock, 59.4 ov)
Suranga Lakmal143291 2.07
Vishwa Fernando171624 3.65
Kasun Rajitha14.40683 4.72
Dimuth Karunarathne3090 3.00
Lasith Embuldeniya101511 5.10
Oshada Fernando10100 10.00

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne lbw by V Philander3059
Lahiru Thirimanne c de Kock b D Steyn015
Oshada Fernando lbw by D Steyn1942
Kusal Mendis c du Plessis b V Philander1224
Kusal Janith c Z Hamza b D Steyn5163
Niroshan Dickwella c D Steyn b D Olivier812
Dhananjaya de Silva c D Olivier b K Rabada2333
Suranga Lakmal c A Markram b D Steyn46
Lasith Embuldeniya c D Steyn b K Rabada2463
Kasun Rajitha (runout) A Markram1230
Vishwa Fernando not out19
7 (b 3, lb 3, w 1)
191/10 (59.2 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
19-1 (L Thirimanne, 6.4 ov), 51-2 (O Fernando, 18.2 ov), 53-3 (D Karunarathne, 19.6 ov), 76-4 (K Mendis, 25.4 ov), 90-5 (N Dickwella, 29.2 ov), 133-6 (D De Silva, 38.5 ov), 142-7 (S Lakmak, 40.1 ov), 8-152 (K Janith, 44.3 ov), 184-9 (K Rajitha, 55.3 ov), 191-10 (L Embuldeniya, 59.2 ov)
Dale Steyn207484 2.40
Vernon Philander102322 3.20
Kagiso Rabada12.22482 3.93
Dane Olivier132361 2.77
Keshav Maharaj30160 5.33
Dean Elgar1050 5.00

South Africa’s 2nd Innings

Dean Elgar c & b L Embuldeniya3570
Aiden Markram c K Mendis b K Rajitha2831
Hashim Amla c L Thirimanne b V Fernando1635
Temba Bavuma lbw by L Embuldeniya316
Faf du Plessis lbw by V Fernando90182
Quinton de Kock lbw by L Embuldeniya5562
Vernon Philander b L Embuldeniya1854
Keshav Maharaj b V Fernando413
Kagiso Rabada c N Dickwella b L Embuldeniya02
Dale Steyn b V Fernando16
Dane Olivier not out27
7 (lb 2, w 2, nb 3)
259/10 (79.1 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
36-1 (A Markram, 9.6 ov), 70-2 (H Amla, 19.1 ov), 77-3 (T Bavuma, 22.2 ov), 95-4 (D Elgar, 28.6 ov), 191-5 (de Kock, 52.6 ov), 251-6 (V Philander, 72.4 ov), 255-7 (du Plessis, 75.6 ov), 256-8 (K Rabada, 76.4 ov), 256-9 (K Maharaj, 77.2 ov), 259-10 (D Steyn, 79.1 ov)
Suranga Lakmal205520 2.60
Vishwa Fernando17.12714 4.15
Kasun Rajitha131541 4.15
Lasith Embuldeniya263665 2.54
Dhananjaya de Silva2080 4.00
Oshada Fernando1060 6.00

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne lbw by V Philander2047
Lahiru Thirimanne c du Plessis b K Rabada2151
Oshada Fernando c du Plessis b D Steyn3776
Kusal Mendis c de Kock b D Olivier08
Kusal Janith not out153200
Niroshan Dickwella c & b D Steyn02
Dhananjaya de Silva lbw by K Maharaj4879
Suranga Lakmal c du Plessis b K Maharaj01
Lasith Embuldeniya c A Markram b D Olivier412
Kasun Rajitha lbw by K Maharaj110
Vishwa Fernando not out627
14 (lb 13, w 1)
304/9 (85.3 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
42-1 (L Thirimanne, 15.5 ov), 42-2 (D Karunarathne, 16.3 ov), 52-3 (K Mendis, 18.5 ov), 110-4 (O Fernando, 37.2 ov), 110-5 (N Dickwella, 37.4 ov), 206-6 (De Silva, 63.1 ov), 206-7 (S Lakmal, 63.2 ov), 215-8 (L Embuldeniya, 66.5 ov), 226-9 (K Rajitha, 69.4 ov)
Dale Steyn181712 3.94
Vernon Philander83131 1.63
Keshav Maharaj201713 3.55
Kagiso Rabada22.33971 4.35
Dane Olivier163352 2.19
Aiden Markram1040 4.00