After a loss in the first test of the test series, Sri Lanka required a desperate comeback. While on the other hand, South Africa were going through a high time and the Proteas looked to be shining under their new Captain. It was the second test which started today at Colombo and so far, the Sri Lankans did put a brave performance on the field.
It was Sri Lanka who won the toss and opted to bat first. Steyn started the proceedings for South Africa and for Sri Lanka it was Upul Tharanga and Kaushal Silva who opened the innings. The start to the Lankan innings was not at all perfect though. Tharanga was dismissed by a beauty from Steyn right in the 5th over of the Sri Lankan innings. But pressure amplified for the Lankans when in the very next delivery, the in form batsman, Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed by Steyn. Suddenly, Sri Lankans looked to be in a spot of bother. Then came in the dependable for Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardena. He and Silva looked to steady the innings by scoring slowly but steadily. Finally at the brink of lunch, Silva was dismissed by Duminy and with that Sri Lanka were 3 down for 115 runs at lunch.
The second session started with Jayawardena and the Sri Lankan skipper, Angelo Mathews starting a partnership. Both of them need to play well to take Sri Lanka in the comfort zone and indeed both looked well at the crease and carried on the partnership. There has been some beautiful strokes played by each of the batsman, Jayawardena in particular. As the play continued, the pitch grew drier and it became tough for the pace based bowling line up of the South Africans to trouble the Lankan batsmen. In the process, Jayawardena reached his milestone of a century just before the tea break and at tea, Sri Lanka were evenly poised at 212 for the loss of 3 wickets with Jayawardena unbeaten on 101 and Mathews unbeaten on 48 runs.
After having a fruitless session at the center, the South Africans desperately needed to make a strong comeback in the final session of the day. Likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel had to come back strongly in the final session. But none among Steyn and Morkel were able to produce the breakthrough. It was JP Duminy who once again deceived a Sri Lankan batsman and this time it was Angelo Mathews who was dismissed at a score of 63 runs. It was Kithuruwan Vithanage who came to the crease next and he started assisting Mahela but not for long. He was dismissed at a score of 13 runs by Morne Morkel. Next came in the debutant wicket keeper for Sri Lanka, Niroshan Dickwella. He started assisting Mahela well and at stumps, Sri Lanka were cruised at 305 runs for the loss of 5 wickets with Mahela remaining unbeaten at 140 runs.
Not much could be said of the test now and we hope things will get interesting as the test progresses.