South Africa started to interrupt down Sri Lanka’s resistance late on the second day of the second and ultimate check on Monday to depart the vacationers an uphill battle to save lots of the match and the sequence.
Sri Lanka was 150-4 in its second innings at stumps for a lead of solely 5 runs with just one extra acknowledged batsman to return. Its hopes of setting South Africa a aggressive goal and having an opportunity of a series-leveling win on the Wanderers most likely lay with captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who was 91 not out in a gritty final stand for his crew.
Only one different batsman managed to carry off South Africa’s tempo bowlers on a Wanderers pitch that has been enjoying usually powerful for batsmen. In simply two days, 24 wickets have fallen.
Lahiru Thirimanne, known as into the crew amid Sri Lanka’s damage emergency, made 31 and fought alongside his captain in a partnership of 82.
But Thirimanne’s dismissal to an edge down the legside off quick bowler Lungi Ngidi heralded a burst of Sri Lankan wickets.
Kusal Mendis went for his second duck of the check in Ngidi’s subsequent over, additionally to a catch down the legside to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, though this one noticed de Kock dive full stretch and clutch the possibility with each gloves.
Debutant Minod Bhanuka got here and went for 1 and Sri Lanka’s renewed positivity following Vishwa Fernando’s stellar bowling efficiency earlier within the day was minimize brief.
South Africa already leads the sequence 1-0 and is determined for its personal revival having not gained a check sequence in two years.
Sri Lanka does have the benefit of the Johannesburg pitch, which can doubtless be particularly troublesome for South Africa to bat on final. Sri Lanka does want loads extra runs, although, to make it a recreation.
The Sri Lankans even have good recollections to name on, having gained their final sequence in South Africa in 2019 in opposition to all expectations, and in opposition to all odds when going through a seemingly determined state of affairs within the final recreation.
On that event, Kusal Perera hit a 153 not out to grab victory. This time, Perera was the primary wicket to fall for Sri Lanka in its second innings. Ngidi bowled him for 1 to spark joyous celebrations from the South African fielders on the exit of the Sri Lankan participant that has annoyed them probably the most this sequence.
South Africa additionally started the day in a robust place, 148-1 in its first innings and already closing in on Sri Lanka’s tame 157 all out batting first.
Dean Elgar made 127 for his thirteenth check century and placed on a stand of 184 with Rassie van der Dussen (67) to take South Africa into the lead, and seemingly in place to make the benefit a giant one at 218-1.
Sri Lanka discovered its struggle within the hour earlier than lunch and Dushmantha Chameera’s success in getting Elgar to edge to first slip straight after a mid-session drinks break sparked one other of these clutches of wickets. Van der Dussen adopted the very subsequent over and from 218-1, South Africa misplaced 9 wickets for 84 runs to be all out for 302.
Fernando was instrumental in reining in South Africa, utilizing the pitch to good impact to run by the center and decrease order and provides Sri Lanka hope along with his 5-101.
Fernando’s career-best figures have been magnified by Sri Lanka’s personnel issues. It was already lacking two skilled bowlers by damage earlier than the sequence, and misplaced two fast bowlers to damage within the first check. Fernando, enjoying in simply his tenth check, is probably the most skilled in Sri Lanka’s assault on the Wanderers and rose to the event.
So did skipper Karunaratne, who battled to the shut unbeaten and in sight of a century. Karunaratne’s 91 had come off 116 with 17 fours. He had Niroshan Dickwella with him on 18 not out.