Dom­i­nant South Africa crush S Lanka in opener

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

PORT EL­IZ­A­BETH:

South Africa’s bowlers needed a lit­tle more than an hour of the fi­nal day’s play to dis­miss Sri Lanka for 281 in their sec­ond in­nings and claim a 206-run vic­tory in the first test yes­ter­day.

Kyle Ab­bott struck twice and Ver­non Phi­lan­der, Kag­iso Rabada and spin­ner Ke­shav Ma­haraj mopped up the tail to com­plete a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory for the hosts at St Ge­orge’s Park and con­clude a sat­is­fac­tory start to the three­match se­ries.

“We had to toil hard for this one but the bowlers got great ben­e­fit to­day from all the hard work they put in,” winning cap­tain Faf du Plessis told re­porters.

South Africa took the last five wick­ets for just 41 runs. “We ex­pected we would need to work hard to get all their 10 wick­ets but our seam at­tack has proven it­self and we have been play­ing some re­ally good cricket lately,” he added.

Sri Lanka had dis­played dogged re­sis­tance on Thurs­day af­ter be­ing set a mam­moth tar­get of 488 early on the fourth day and stymied South Africa’s hopes of wrap­ping up the re­sult with a day to spare.

A day of toil for the home at­tack pro­duced just five wick­ets but by stumps, cap­tain An­gelo Mathews and Dhanan­jaya de Silva were the last recog­nised bats­men for Sri Lanka and needed to dig in on Fri­day to give their side any chance of sal­vaging a draw.

How­ever, Mathews de­parted in the third over of the day, trapped leg be­fore wicket by Ab­bott for 59 and then De Silva fol­lowed four overs later in sim­i­lar fash­ion for 22.

Phi­lan­der had to change di­rec­tion on his fol­low through but made good ground to snatch a one-handed catch to re­move Ran­gana Herath for three off his own bowl­ing.

Rabada then sent Dush­man­tha Chameera back with­out scor­ing with a sear­ing de­liv­ery that took a healthy edge. Nuwan Pradeep was the last wicket to fall, bowled by Ma­haraj for four, leav­ing Su­ranga Lak­mal un­beaten on 19.

“I thought we could have bat­ted a lot bet­ter. We played some ter­ri­ble shots to­day and that was our down­fall,” Mathews said. “We need to get more runs on the board for our bowlers to bowl at in the next tests.”

South Africa, who won the toss and opted to bat, amassed 286 in their first in­nings and Sri Lanka scored 205 in re­ply. South Africa’s sec­ond in­nings was de­clared on 406 for six.

Both teams have lit­tle time to re­cover be­fore the sec­ond test at New­lands in Cape Town be­gins on Mon­day.— Reuters

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