The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan ‘A’ bowlers restrain South Africa ‘A’


Dimuth Karunaratne – a brave knock of 83

Sri Lanka ‘A’ bowlers made some late strikes to restrain South Africa ‘A’ as the second day of the second unofficial Test between the two sides ended earlier than scheduled due to bad light, giving the visitors a first innings lead of 125 runs at Kingsmead in Durban yesterday.
Just like Sri Lanka, South Africa too lost their top order batsmen at regular sessions but as they day progressed the home team found it difficult to sort out matters. They were sluggishly placed at 211-8 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 336 at stumps. The match was stopped almost an hour before closing time when bad light loomed over Kingsmead, giving some reprieve to the hosts.

Opener Reeza Hendricks took on the challenge positively as he went on to stoke an elegant 47 off 83 with nine boundaries but he lost his partners Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Edgar to paceman Dhammika Prasad, who was forced to walk out of the field after bowling 3.5 overs due to an injury. Hendricks was sent back by off-spinner Dilruwan Perera who came in as the sixth Sri Lankan bowler.

But right-hander Farhaan Behardien came in to play a resilient knock of 66 off 127 which also had seven boundaries. He was sent back by paceman Kosala Kulasekara at 208 as the eighth South African wicket. Kulasekara ended with figures of 2 for 39 including the wicket of skipper Faf du Plessis who made 23. Burly off-spinner Sachithra Serasinghe took two quick wickets – of Thami Tsolekile (23) and Ryan McLaren (7) following his half century with the bat.

Sri Lanka resuming from their overnight score of 290-8 added 46 runs to their total in 9.4 overs while the tail-enders chipped in with notable knocks to push their team to a decent total. This was after skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s brave 83 off 148 and all-rounder Sachithra Serasinghe’s timely 53 off 96 balls which laid the foundation to a solid comeback after a shaky start.

Karunaratne and Serasinghe shared a partnership of 54 runs for the fifth wicket to frustrate the string South African bowling attack which had seven bowlers. Kusal Janith Perera (29), Angelo Perera (38), Kosala Kulasekara (30), Dhammika Prasad (24) and Kanishka Alvitigala (29n.o.) chipped in with notable knocks. Fast bowler Ryan McLaren claimed four wickets while speedsters Pumelela Matshikwe, Wayne Parnell and off-spinner Simon Harmer took two wickets each.

Sri Lanka A 336 all out in 97 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 83, Kusal Janith Perera 29, Angelo Perera 38, Sachithra Serasinghe 53, Kosala Kulasekara 30, Dhammika Prasad 24, Kanishka Alvitigala 29n.o; Ryan McLaren 4/51, Simon Harmer 2/61, Pumelela Matshikwe 2/64, Wayne Parnell 2/109)

South Africa A 211 for 8 wickets in 64.3 overs at stumps on Day 2 (Reeza Hendricks 47, Faf de Plessis 23, Farhaan Behardien 66, Thami Tsolekile 23; Dhammika Prasad 2/8, Sachithra Serasinghe 2/32, Kosala Kulasekara 2/39)

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