Sri Lankan pacers Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha devastated the South African batsmen for the second consecutive Test to share Thursday’s Turbo Bowler award, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
Fernando and Rajitha picked up three wickets apiece on day one of the second Test in Port Elizabeth to dismiss the Proteas for 222 after another all too familiar batting collapse. The pair combined to pick up six wickets for cheap, resulting in seven Proteas not making it to double figures, four of them falling for a duck.
Fernando began the Sri Lankan charge, rattling through Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla by shattering both their stumps in quick succession. Temba Bavuma managed to negotiate the hat-trick ball, but Rajitha got in the action a couple of balls later with a brilliant piece of fielding at mid-on to run out Bavuma and leave the Proteas languishing on 15-3 in the seventh over.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 21, 2019
Aiden Markram (60) and top-scorer Quinton de Kock (86 off 87 balls, 12×4) stabilised the innings for a while, but Rajitha soon returned to the attack to trap Markram leg before, opening the floodgates at one end. He followed that up with another lbw to dismiss all-rounder Wiaan Mulderon for nine in his Test debut.
Rajitha and Fernando made light work of cleaning up the tail as both Keshav Maharaj and Duanne Olivier were dismissed for a duck to see to South Africa crumble to 222 all out within 62 overs.
The pair shared more than half of the bowling workload in the innings, sending down 33.2 overs on their way to six wickets at a concession of 129 runs. Their wily bowling could prove monumental in a match where Sri Lanka are looking to bag a result that would see them become the first ever Asian team to win a Test series on South African soil.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 21, 2019
Sri Lanka will resume day two on Friday, with opener Lahiru Thirimanne (25) and Rajitha – having served his nightwatchman duty – on 60-3 and looking to chip away at South Africa’s 162-run lead.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images