Test Match Cricket Game Report: 2020-21 South Africa v Sri Lanka, Day 2 of 2nd Test

by Sports Benches

South Africa left off from Day 1 yesterday at 148-1. And trails by only nine runs behind Sri Lanka. Remember SL won the toss & bat first. But they scored only 157.

Dean Elgar did not waste anytime escaping the nervous 90s. When he was able to secure his 13th Test 100. Rassie Van Der Dussen also followed Dean with a 4th Test 50. But as soon as the Proteas reach the 200 run mark. Things began to collapse. Even though it’s a 47 run lead.

The shot selections they made earlier is decent down low. Elgar and Rassie however unable to get on hold of the bowler. They therefore got dismissed with a nothing or high risk shot. Faf Du Plessis also a victim of a similar mistake that Dean made earlier on. As Dasun Shanaka demonstrated the line needed to complement the speed. And make the batsman play. Decent work to earn these two scalps with damage in the top order.

Quinton De Kock hopeful of turning his form around. He pulled the trigger unfortunately so early. When Vishwa Fernando added a late wicket just before lunch. South Africa 256-5 & leads by 99 runs. But the work from the Sri Lankan quicks won this AM. Thanks to Dasun Shanaka. And Dushmantha Chameera when he split the Elgar-Rassie stand.

It may be both Shanaka and Chameera at the start. But Vishwa Fernando did the most damage to clean the tail enders. He picked up a 5fer for 101. Those conceded runs may be from Elgar & Rassie. Vishwa did however restrict the SA lead total of 145 runs. As the home team are all out for only 302. Vishwa is one of the experienced quicks here. Used a brilliant line to connect his speed. That plan helped him stay that way & earned his big spell.

South Africa on the other hand way hesitant to hold on with the bat. If you just remove Dean and Rassie. And they just used these good balls as a half chance to fire up. This plan did not work in their favour. It is good to pile up the runs at least as long as possible. But will need to be vigilant with the ball to restrict SL.

The home team did bounce back a bit just before Tea. When Lungi Ngidi clean bowled Kusal Perera for just 2. Sri Lanka 16-1 by the tea break. They still have catch up to do at 129 runs. Lahiru Thirimanne may have hold on for the next 20 odd overs. But Ngidi earned two more wickets on Thirimanne (31) & Kusal Mendis for a duck. Before Anrich Nortje took the late wicket off debutant Monod Bhanuka (1). It will hard for Bhanuka to see his single figure runs on his debut. But he will learn from experience. And improve in the nets next time. Should he play another test v England later this month.

It would hard to square off between the 100 from Elgar. A 5fer from nowhere for Vishwa Fernando. Or Dimuth Karunathne’s save against all odds. Sri Lanka finished Day 2 at 150-4. And leads by just 5 runs as Karunathne still in the middle on 91 not out. He is exactly playing like Dean at the moment. So Dimuth will aim for a Test 100 in Day 3 today. Before thinking about extending that run trail. South Africa will have to bat again. But in a way that would make them impossible to chase down.

South Africa has their chance now to come back from the overnight rest. And focus on nailing down Dickwella. Plus the two all-rounders in Dasun Shanaka & Wanidu Hasaranga. Both of them are handy batsman so SA will need to watch out. So does the danger man in Karunathne if possible. The home team cannot escape batting again as it was last week. But what SA can do is limit the SL run trail at least 50-100 runs. Then it is doable to chase down easily. And win.

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