SRI LANKA TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2020-21
Live Score Updates
South Africa 302-10 & 67-0 (13.2 Ovs)
Aiden Markram 36 (53)
Sri Lanka 157-10 & 211-10
Wanindu Hasaranga 2.2-0-16-0
South Africa won by 10 wkts
Test of character up ahead for Sri Lanka. © AFP
That’s all from us folks! Hope you enjoyed this fast-moving day. Do join us for the second day. Tata!
STUMPS Day 1 – South Africa 148 for 1; trail Sri Lanka (157) by nine runs
At the end of the opening session in the second session, Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur stood at the balcony shaking his head. Disgusted with what he had seen. Disappointed with the shot selection by his batsmen. Sri Lanka had been decimated in the first Test. They were left on the mat with a series of injuries. On the day, the Sri Lankan batsmen were irresponsible and extremely poor with their execution against some quality fast bowling.
Anrich Nortje produced his career-best 6 for 56 as Sri Lanka folded for 157 in 40.3 overs. In hindsight, Sri Lanka handed the ascendency to the hosts in just four overs. The visitors made a slow start with just 19 in the first ten overs. Dimuth Karunaratne fell for 2 off 32 but Kusal Perera helped the side score 52 between overs 11 and 20 to pick up the scoring rate. After early swings and misses, he found his touch and rhythm.
In the 16th over, Perera drilled Lungi Ngidi straight past the bowler. On the next, he smashed one just to the right of mid-on. The next over saw Perera reach his half-century off 54 balls. At 71 for 1, Karunaratne looked at ease with the progress made. And then calamity struck. Wiaan Mulder had Perera chasing a wide one and caught at gully. Four balls later, Kusal Mendis was caught at first slip.
Lahiru Thirimanne, a total of 35 Tests old and averaging a handsome 22.64, was squared up by Mulder as he tried to flick one from the stumps. The outside edge was caught by Faf du Plessis as Sri Lanka went from 71 for 1 to 80 for 4. Debutant Minod Bhanuka struck a boundary but fell on the last ball of the session as South Africa bounced back to seize the advantage between overs 21 and 24.
The post Lunch session wasn’t fruitful either. Niroshan Dickwella carried Sri Lanka’s hopes and started with a boundary. However, he lasted eight more deliveries before falling to Nortje. At that time, Nortje was playing second fiddle with figures of 9-1-37-3. Dasun Shanaka was an easy prey for Nortje with the pacer high on confidence. There was a frustrating stand between Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera but Lutho Sipamla broke the stand just at the right time. Nortje needed no second invitation to clean up the remaining two wickets to cap off a successful day at office.
Before the break, South Africa openers had to face five overs. Dean Elgar struck four boundaries to carry on the momentum the bowlers had helped build. Post the break, the second debutant in the side – Asitha Fernando – gave glimpses of his potential as he set up Aiden Markram. The right-hander was in two minds and wanted to leave the away going delivery but was a tad too late. The outside edge was caught at second slip by Mendis but that was the only success Sri Lanka had on the day.
Elgar stayed unbeaten on 92 and build a 114-run stand with Rassie van der Dussen. South Africa not only took the first-innings lead on the opening day but also crushed the little hope Sri Lanka had of bouncing back in the series.
Back to back boundaries from van der Dussen bring up the 100-run stand. Elgar is nearing his century and Sri Lanka look a lost unit.
South Africa 136 for 1
50 for Elgar
Sri Lanka have been better with the ball after the Tea break but haven’t been able to get the second wicket. Elgar gets to his half-century with a boundary and off 71 balls. He’s also added a 50-run stand with Rassie van der Dussen.
South Africa 85 for 1
South Africa 50 for 1
Markram falls early Asitha Fernando. Length ball and it was moving away from the opener. He was in two minds and wanted to leave that one. Was late in decision making and ended up edging the ball to first slip.
South Africa 35 for 1
The players are back. Prediction time – what will be South Africa’s score at the end of day one?
TEA – South Africa 22 for no loss in five overs.
Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar to open for South Africa. Will they take the lead today? Or will Sri Lanka surprise us?
Five-wicket haul for Nortje
A bowler at the crease and he should be expecting short balls. Banged in from around the wicket and Chameera goes for the pull. Faint edge and another easy catch for de Kock.
Sri Lanka 151 for 9
Sipamla joins the party
Chameera and Hasaranga were frustrating South Africa with a 39-run stand but Sipamla has managed to dismiss the latter. Faint edge and it wasn’t given on the field. South Africa took the review and bagged the eighth wicket. Vishwa Fernando gets dropped next ball. It’s been an eventful day.
Sri Lanka 149 for 8
Four for Nortje
Length ball outside off and Shanaka wanted to blast that one past cover. Gets an outside edge and de Kock completes a simple catch. He takes a review and loses that as well.
Sri Lanka 110 for 7
Nortje strikes after the break and takes out Dickwella. Outside edge and the it was flying to first slip but de Kock pulled off a diving catch.
Sri Lanka 93 for 6
And we are back! Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka out there for Sri Lanka. Will the hosts wrap up the innings in this session?
Debutant Minod Bhanuka is the last to fall in the session as Sri Lanka slip to 84 for 5 after being 71 for 1. Perera smashed 60 but once he was dismissed, South Africa just decimated Sri Lanka. Wiaan Mulder was the chief destructor as he ended the session with figures of 3-2-1-3.
Sri Lanka scored just 19 in the first ten overs but smashed 52 in the next. South Africa kept coming hard and reaped the rewards as Sri Lanka crumbled under pressure. How many will they get? We’ll have the answer after a 40-minute break.
Third wicket for Mulder and another blow for Sri Lanka as Thirimanne, who was looking promising, departs for 17. In the channel outside off and Thirimanne goes for the drive but ends up getting an edge to du Plessis at second slip. Sri Lanka slip to 80 for 4.
Two in the over
Kusal Mendis lasts just four balls. Length ball and left the right-hander. Mulder produces another outside edge and this time an easy catch at first slip. Mendis goes for a duck.
Sri Lanka 71 for 3
Mulder strikes in his second over. Fuller and outside off, Perera pushed at it hard and got the outside edge. Easy catch at gully. Just what Sri Lanka didn’t need with less than 20 minutes left in the session.
Sri Lanka 71 for 2
Thirimanne gets a life. Ngidi gets one to climb from around the wicket and take the outside edge. The ball was going down and Dean Elgar fails to hold on at second slip.
Sri Lanka 69 for 1
Half-century for Perera
He’s transferred the pressure back on South Africa. Gets to 53 off 54 deliveries. There were early misses when he swung at wide deliveries but he’s found his timing and rhythm.
Sri Lanka 61 for 1
Perera is looking to take the aggressive route. In the 16th over, he drove Ngidi down the ground and then smashed another ball back past the bowler to take his side past fifty. He’s helped the side pick up the scoring rate which was below two in the first ten overs.
Sri Lanka 56 for 1 in 16 overs
Nortje has dismissed Karunaratne after a slow start. Another back of length delivery and it kept climbing. The Sri Lanka captain took his hand off the bat but the ball took the handle before landing with Quinton de Kock.
Sri Lanka 19 for 1 in 10 overs
Five overs done
There have been swings and misses from Perera. Both batsmen have coped a few blows but they’ve managed to survive without any damage. There’s good pace and bounce available for the pacers and Nortje has looked more threatening than Ngidi. The latter, however, has bowled three maidens in a row.
Sri Lanka six for no loss
Alrighty then, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera out there to open for Sri Lanka. Ngidi will start things off for South Africa …
ICYMI – Kagiso Rabada is fit but hasn’t been included in the playing XI. Quinton de Kock has stressed they are saving him for the Australia series.
TOSS – Sri Lanka opt to bat;South Africa field unchanged eleven. Minod Bhanuka and Asitha Fernando to make their debut for the visitors.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock(w/c), Temba Bavuma, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Niroshan Dickwella(w), Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Asitha Fernando
Hello and welcome to the live blog of the first day of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Johannesburg.
South Africa come into the Test high on confidence after decimating the visitors in the opening Test. Sri Lanka also face a tough test with several of their key players injured and out of action.
Sri Lanka’s first innings of 396 is the third-biggest total made by any team against South Africa at Centurion, and the Lankans’ biggest in a country where they have reached 300 only eight times but been dismissed for fewer than 200 on 14 occasions – five times at Centurion itself. So this effort represented significant progress in their coming to terms with a pitch that is nothing like anything they would have learnt to bat on, and which has led to the undoing of almost every visiting team who have played Tests there.
What might have been had five Sri Lankans, four of them frontline bowlers, not been sidelined by assorted mishaps and calamities? We will never know. The Wanderers would have presented an opportunity to answer the question had Dinesh Chandimal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal and Oshada Fernando not all been ruled out of the second Test. And it could get worse: Wanindu Hasaranga’s selection is subject to a fitness test.
It was seen as something of a miracle, especially by South Africans, when Dimuth Karunaratne’s team became the first Asian side to win a Test series in the country in February 2019. It wasn’t magic, of course: they played the better cricket. Not least Kusal Perera, who delivered among the most epic innings the game has seen in scoring an undefeated 153 in his team’s one-wicket win at Kingsmead. It should shock South Africans that Sri Lanka didn’t even need Perera to chase down their target of 197 to claim the St George’s Park Test by eight wickets. Likewise that Vishwa Fernando’s dozen wickets at 18.91 in the two matches was three more than Kagiso Rabada managed at 29.50. It’s a telling comparison considering each bowled 62.3 overs.
At Centurion, Perera – now opening, having batted at No. 5 in 2019 – made 16 and 64 and Fernando took 3/129. Those figures don’t reflect poor performances, but they are a long way from their matchwinning exploits of not quite two years ago. Happily, Perera and Fernando are still in the mix. But it’s difficult to see them sparking the kind of revolution Sri Lanka would need to win at the Wanderers. That really would be a miracle.
Why should South Africa contemplate changes to an XI that has won so emphatically? If there was a case to be made for a departure from the Centurion side, it was that Rabada is back from a groin strain. But team management said on Saturday he would not be considered to ensure his readiness for the upcoming series against Pakistan and Australia. It’s a long shot, but that might open the door for the left-arm Beuran Hendricks, who represents a refreshing change from the home side’s otherwise steady stream of right-arm fast.
If it seems that there is too much dwelling on the past in this preview, which is after all meant to offer a look ahead to the next match, that’s because it’s hard to isolate the context of a match that promises to be less a contest between teams as a fight for survival by one of those teams. There is an unfairness about what the Sri Lankans are being asked to do, considering the wider circumstances. How could they possibly give a credible account of themselves when their ranks have been decimated by injury, and in the midst of a pandemic no less? The South Africans, meanwhile, would be forgiven for feeling queasy about being forced to throw punches at opponents who have a knee on the canvas and both arms tied behind their backs.
If the visitors put up anything like a fight, they should be farewelled as heroes and, on their return home, be awarded the Sri Lankabhimanya – or the Pride of Sri Lanka – the country’s highest honour. It is bestowed on “those who have rendered exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the nation”. Certainly, they have fulfilled that criterion. But, like everything else about this tour, even this will not be simple: only five Lankans can hold the award contemporaneously.