Riding on veteran spinner Rangana Herath’s six for 98 hosts Sri Lanka completed a clean sweep beating South Africa by 199 runs in the second Test at Colombo.
Needing 354 runs to win at the start of the fourth day, the Proteas folded for a mere 290 early in the second session. However, this was a much-improved effort from the South African batsmen.
Theunis de Bruyn (101) and Temba Bavuma (63) tried their best to resist the loss. South Africa had managed just 124 runs in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 338.
De Bruyn and Bavuma dominated the hosts for the most part of the opening session. The duo added 123 runs for the fifth wicket before Bavuma departed.
Bavuma’s wicket led to another, as Quinton de Kock followed him of Herath to reduce the visitors to 246 for seven at lunch. Since then, it was an easy task for the host, as they wrapped things up quickly.
We worked really hard
Sri Lanka stand-in skipper, Suranga Lakmal admitted these results were long due. The team has worked hard and is benefitting now.
“We worked really hard and the results are due to the hard work of the team. Sri Lanka has some of the best spinners in the world and that is the reason they have troubled the South African batsmen,” he said after the match.
Talking about his stint as a captain, Lakmal said he is not thinking too far about this.
“I am not thinking too far about the captaincy as it is a team game,” Lakmal added.
We goofed up on team combination
On the other hand, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis credited Sri Lanka for playing some outstanding cricket. He also added they have learned a lot of lessons and will work these.
“The guys played well in the last innings, de Bruyn played an exceptional knock and showed it is possible to get big runs in these conditions. Credit to Sri Lanka, they were outstanding. They beat us in all departments of the game that we played in the last eight days. We have some lessons to learn but we did manage to put in some good performance,” du Plessis said.
The Proteas skipper also lauded Keshav Maharaj, who returned with nine wickets in the first innings. He also cited batting failures as a major reason behind their loss.
Furthermore, Faf du Plessis not playing an extra spinner affected their cause. He feels this will be a lesson for the future tours in the subcontinent.
“Looking at the wicket, we definitely would have played an extra spinner, our thinking was it is an abrasive surface and ball will reverse. There was zero reverse swing. It is a lesson to learn, when we come to sub-continent we need to pick an extra spinner as pitches are very dry. So, It was a mistake on our part not to play an extra spinner,” he concluded.