The first day ended with Sri Lanka being evenly poised at a score of 355 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. It was a good going for Sri Lanka and on the second day as South Africa needed to pull things back. We witnessed a brilliant and classy innings from Mahela Jayawardene and he was unbeaten at stumps. It was hoped that we would witness a mammoth innings from him in the second day.
Mahela started the innings well today alongwith the debutant, Niroshan Dickwella. Both were carrying on nicely until a mix up in running occurred in the 16th over of the day’s play and on a sheer unlucky manner, Jayawardene was dismissed at a score of 165 runs, a run out that is hard to bear. Dickwella carried on his innings. Next came in Dilruwan Perera. He started assisting Dickwella well and Dickwella completed his half century in the process. Finally, at lunch, Sri Lanka were poised at a score of 395 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Dickwella was unbeaten on 63 runs then.
The second session started with Sri Lanka trying to increase their score to over a decent mark. Then Perera was dismissed by Tahir immediately after the start of the second session. But another mishap occurred in the running between the wickets and this time it was Dickwella who became the victim of it. It is indeed sad to be dismissed run out in the very first international innings. Next came in Rangana Herath. But from this time, a rapid fall occurred in the Sri Lankan line up and it seemed as if that South Africans were in a hurry to finish up things. More pressure were created upon the Sri Lankan tail-enders and they gave up their wickets. It was Mendis and Lakmal, who were dismissed by Philander right next to finish things up.
Sri Lanka were bundled at a score of 421 runs. The South African innings started soon after it and it was Alviro Petersen and Dean Elgar who opened the innings for the Proteas. Sri Lankans introduced spin in the likes of Rangana Herath right from the start and as a result of which, Petersen was dismissed in the second over by Herath. Next came in Du Plessis. He and Elgar started to manage things well but Elgar was dismissed by Lakmal after scoring 1 run off 22 balls. The skipper came in next and he had a job to do. South Africans were in huge spot of bother. He and Du Plessis tried to steady up the score and at tea, South Africa were 23 for the loss of 2 wickets.
The third session started with South Africans hoping not to lose further wickets in the day. It was quite a good-going partnership that developed between Du Plessis and Amla. Both were playing sensibly and none seemed to take the slightest possible risk. But on the 38th over of the innings, Du Plessis edged one off Lakmal and was caught. Thus South Africa lost their 3rd wicket in the process. De Villiers came in next and he looked in well touch right from the start. He started building up a partnership with Amla and both the batsmen played sensibly to end the day’s play without losing further wickets. At stumps, South Africa were at a score of 98 runs for the loss of 3 wickets with Amla and De Villiers at the crease at 46 and 11 runs respectively.
The second day was gone thus and we are heading towards a dramatic finish.