Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva frustrated the South African bowlers as the pair held on after Sri Lanka lost their first wicket with 14 on the board in pursuit of 370 runs for victory to end the fourth day’s play on 110 for 1 in the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium. The [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Galle match in the balance


Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva frustrated the South African bowlers as the pair held on after Sri Lanka lost their first wicket with 14 on the board in pursuit of 370 runs for victory to end the fourth day’s play on 110 for 1 in the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium.

The South African bowlers in contrast to Sri Lanka’s spinning duo Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera found little success coming their way and did not get the desired results that they were looking for, as Sangakkara and Kaushal added an unbroken stand of 96 runs for the second wicket.

A pat from my pal after a hard day’s -- Kaushal Silva acknowledges Kumar Sangakkara’s knock which put Sri Lanka back in the game - Pic by Amila Gamage

Imran Tahir, from whom much was expected, was wayward as he delivered full tosses of which one was slashed for a six by Sangakkara while pacie Dale Steyn burst in short pitch deliveries as Sanga and Kaushal negotiated with ease further frustrating the bowlers.
Sangakkara in the process was unbeaten on 58 which was his 49th half ton of his career that included seven boundaries and a six while Kaushal remained unbeaten on 37 which had five boundaries.

With the two batsmen having erased 110 of the 370 runs required for victory, the contest is wide open with three sessions of play left for the two teams to achieve their targets when play begins on the final day today.

The run chase of 370 runs set by South Africa is the second instance for Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka with the previous being a target of 352 runs in 2006 when the side was led by Mahela Jayawardena. Jayawardena played a captain’s knock of 123 to guide his side to a thrilling one wicket victory at the P. Sara Stadium.

It’s left to be seen whether Mahela could repeat that performance and give the Sri Lankans another memorable win for the home team go one up in the two-match Test series.

The fourth day’s proceedings saw Sri Lanka resuming on their overnight score of 283 for 9 being unable to make much headway as overnight batsmen Rangana Herath and Shaminda Eranga lasted just under five overs. They added nine more runs to the total with the innings coming to a close after de Villers taking a stunning diving catch at second slip off Morne Morkel. This saw South Africa, who restricted Sri Lanka for a score of 292, gaining a lead of 163 runs.

South Africa coming into bat the second time had to ensure that they do not lose wickets on a pitch that seemed to be support the spin attack and it was with that confidence that skipper Angelo Mathews rotated the two spinners Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera.
Though pacie Suranga Lakmal was used he was unable to get any support. But the South Africa openers Dean Elgar and Alvirio Peterson negotiated the spinning duo with cautious before ultimately falling victims to the pair.

Both were dismissed in similar fashion edging catches to wicket keeper Dinesh Chandimal with Elgar being the first off Herath with South Africa on 33 and Peterson following after the addition of 21 runs edging a delivery of Perera to Chandimal.

Faf du Plessis and skipper Hashim Amla was beginning to settle down but a grief 34 runs stand between the duo came to an with Amla’s dismissal. Du Plessis and de Villers added a valuable 43 runs for the fourth wicket before they were separated with du Plessis being clean bowled by Herath with South Africa on 131 for 4.

The best partnership in this innings before their declaration came thereafter with de Villers joined by Quinton de Kock though feeling uncomfortable settled down. De Kock survived a caught and bowled chance by Herath but steadied later on to add a valuable 62 runs for the fifth wicket.

The duo was separated after de Villers raced to his ton and added another single for a knock of 51 in 58 balls that included six boundaries. South Africa wrapped up their innings after de Kock’s dismissal which was the tea break having made a score of 206 for 6 for a lead of 369 runs.

Meanwhile South Africa bowler Vernon Philander was fined 75 percent of his match fee for breaching clause 42.1 of the ICC’s match playing rules. Philander’s action was picked up when the on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough along with third and fourth umpires Nigel Long and Ruchira Palliyaguruge and match referee Jeff Crowe reviewed visual’s of the third day’s proceedings.

It was found that Philander was scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb to which he did not dispute and accepted the punishment. This is the second instance in nine months that a South African bowler has been fined for ball tampering with the first being Faf du Plessis against Pakistan in the UAE last October where he was fined 50 percent of his match fee.


South Africa 1st innings 455 for 9 wickets in 166.2 overs declared (Alviro Petersen 34, Dean Elgar 103, Faf du Plessis 80, AB de Villiers 21, Quinton de Kock 51, JP Duminy 100n.o, Vernon Philander 27, Morne Morkel 22; Dilruwan Perera 4/162, Suranga Lakmal 3/75)
Sri Lanka 1st innings (283 for 9 overnight) 292 all out in 104.5 overs (Upul Tharanga 83, Kumar Sangakkara 24, Lahiru Thirimanne 38, Angelo Mathews 89, Rangana Herath 19; Dale Steyn 5/54, Morne Morkel 3/49)
South Africa 2nd innings
Dean Elgar c Chandimal b Herath 12
(Ball turns across the middle, tries to drive
but takes the inside edge to the keeper)
Alviro Petersen c Chandimal b Perera 32
(Good length ball, batsman plays forward,
nicks the bat on the way to the keeper,
decision reviewed but upheld)
Faf du Plessis b Herath 37
(Pitches outside leg, batsman tries to play
but misses and hits the leg stump)
Hashim Amla c Tharanga b Perera 22
(Slow delivery around the off-stump,
drives and is caught at mid on)
AB de Villiers b Perera 51
(Good length ball, tries to open and clip through square leg but the ball runs through the pads)
Quinton de Kock c and b Perera 36
(Goes early for a drive, beaten by the flight
and lobs a simple return catch)
JP Duminy not out 8
Extras (b4, lb4) 8
Total (6 wickets declared; 50.2 overs) 206
Fall-of-wickets: 1-33 (Elgar), 2-54 (Petersen), 3-88 Amla), 4-131 (du Plessis). 5-193 (de Villiers), 6-206 (de Kock)
Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 9-0-35-0, Rangana Herath 22-2-84-2, Dilruwan Perera 19.2-1-79-4
Sri Lanka 2nd innings (Target 370)
Upul Tharanga c de Kock b Steyn 14
(Full length delivery pitched outside the off stump, throws the bat and nicks to the keeper)
Kaushal Silva not out 37
Kumar Sangakkara not out 58
Extras (lb1) 1
Total (1 wicket; 32 overs) 110
Fall-of-wickets: 1-14 (Tharanga)
Bowling: Dale Steyn 6-2-18-1, Vernon Philander 6-3-13-0, Morne Morkel 4-1-13-0, Imran Tahir 10-1-40-0, JP Duminy 5-1-24-0, Dean Elgar 1-0-1-0

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