Sri Lanka left off from Day 3 yesterday at 65/2. And trails South Africa by 65 runs in their 2nd innings. They will need their experienced pair of Dinesh Chandimal. As well as Kusal Perera. South Africa only needs 7 wickets to win this 1st Test match.
It might sound a bit unusual there. But Sri Lanka have suffered a series of thigh niggles. Most notably Dhananjaya Da Silva who unable go back out. Despite his brilliant first inning knock of 79 not out. He will also be ruled out for the 2nd Test too.
South Africa arranged Wiaan Mulder to open the bowling. That move helped him dismiss not just Chandimal. But also Niroshan Dickwella. Both of his scalps married up with the speed & line. The batters would be fumed by Mulder when they watch it again on tape. Wiaan deserves praise for his all-round display.
The home team may have burned down the first two reviews. SA just used their final reprieve. And it paid off when Anrich Nortje removed the key SL in Kusal Perera on 64. They closed off a productive first session with an extra wicket from Lutho Sipamla. As well as the late run out from Wiaan on the field. Good reading there to capitalise the SL mix up talk in the crease.
It does take time from Lutho to adjust at Test level. He kept persisting the off stump & executed with the scorching spice. It made Dasun Shanaka knick to Quinton De Kock’s gloves. It is his first cap in this format from the young man. Sri Lanka are 148-7 at lunch & trails by 77 runs. South Africa only need 2 wickets to win Test 1.
Wanindu Hasaranga wasted no time closing the run trail for Sri Lanka. And force South Africa to bat again. He got a half-ton on his Test debut on 53. But will not happen when he unable to get enough maximum past the rope. And saw Temba Bavuma with the catch at mid off. Before Nortje dismissed Kasun Rajitha to bowl Sri Lanka all out for 180/9. And sealed the win for South Africa by an innings & 45 runs.
Sri Lanka not bad with the bat having won the first day. And took advantage of the light bowling attack. Especially when they see no Kagiso Rabada. That plan blown away comfortably by miles. But lost midway & eventually until the end. Thanks to not one. But two to three injury niggles on the hammys. Now they are without one to two star men for the 2nd Test. It will take them a miracle to and bounce back.
South Africa on the other hand fired off slowly with the ball. They did not win the toss firsthand. But capitalised on the SL injury crisis. And got things together at last. Before they responded big with the bat. Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram kept their game with the “safe hands” approach. Followed by Faf Du Plessis with an outstanding knock even at 36. It may not exactly be 200. But he gave the Proteas hope even as the ex-skipper now.
Then you see Wiaan Mulder displayed his jack of all trades skillset. Both with bat and ball. That occasion was his 2nd Test cap since nearly 2 years ago. He should remain at 7 in the long haul. It is a good time now since Dwaine Pretorious is not outstanding. And seen Vernon Philander retried a year ago. Coincidentally Vern is still there. But as the color commentator for SuperSport. We now wrap up the 1st Test with a 1 & 1/2 left of play. The 2nd & Final starts on Sunday in Johannesburg.