The second day of the test ended with South Africa in a bit of trouble. They had lost 3 of their top order batsmen early on but it was their skipper, Hashim Amla who kept the battle on for the Proteas and with the aid of his sensible innings later in the day, South Africa were poised at 98 for the loss of 3 wickets. Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers were at the crease then.
The partnership between De Villiers and Amla proceeded well on and they were pacing up the innings steadily and moved ahead to a brilliant partnership. Sri Lankans tried to amplify the pressure upon the South African batsmen but with no help. South Africa held the upper hand in the initial overs to the day’s play. But in the 17th over to the day’s play, Dilruwan Perera struck for Sri Lanka. De Villiers mis-judged a ball and it went onto hit his pads and he was adjourned LBW. Thus Sri Lankans got their first breakthrough for the day and the trouble for the South Africans increased. De Kock came in next and after two balls to De Villier’s dismissal, De Kock was bowled. He went for a duck leaving South Africa in huge spot of bother. Thus with 5 down at 150 runs, South Africans were in the path of being followed on. But their skipper stayed firm on the other end. Duminy came in next. And South Africa did not lose any further wickets and at lunch, South Africa were at 168 for the loss of 5 wickets.
The second session with South Africa under deep trouble. There was a sense of trouble for the South Africans right after the start of the second session. There was an appeal for Duminy’s dismissal but it was held down after review taken by the Sri Lankans. Duminy stayed at the crease for long and tried to defend totally. He was at 3 runs off 58 balls when he was deceived by the flight from Herath and was stumped. Thus the sixth wicket fell. Meanwhile, Amla was playing exceptionally well on other end and he completed his century. Another wicket fell before tea in the form of Vernon Philander and at tea, South Africa were at 234 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.
The final session started with South Africa on the brink of following on. But Dale Steyn came handy with the bat this time. He assisted Amla to build a strong enough partnership which saved their innings to an extent. Steyn was dismissed at 30. Next came in Imran Tahir. Hashim Amla was playing well with the tail-enders and he did rotate the strike perfectly. In short, he was playing a true captain’s knock. But Tahir was dismissed by Herath when he was at 15. It was the last wicket for South Africa. Dilruwan Perera picked it up in the form of Morne Morkel and with the help of that, he took 5 wickets in the innings. This spinner has showed character throughout the series. South Africa were thus bundled at a score of 282 runs. With a lead of 139 runs, Sri Lanka came to bat to face 5 last overs of the day and they played it comfortably without any sorts of damage being created. At stumps, Sri Lanka were 11 for none and they are ahead by a margin of 150 runs.
The fourth day will be crucial enough and it might well decide the fate of the game.
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