The Sri Lankans were beginning to look comfortable at 45-1 at tea on day two in the third Test at the Wanderers … until Kagiso Rabada stepped up.
The Sri Lankans fought back admirably on the second day, after the Proteas closed on 338-3 on day one. They tore into the line-up, taking seven wickets for 80 runs on a wicket that seamed and swung, just to show there was some fight left.
When Vernon Philander took out Dimuth Karunaratne with the fourth ball of the innings, there was a hint that it would be one-way traffic. Except that Kaushal Silva and Kusal Mendis settled down and played some shots, making light of what had gone before.
There isn’t much in it for them, having lost the first two Tests of the three-match series, except pride. The Proteas, on the other hand, want a clean sweep, to show they can be ruthless.
Rabada, held back, surprisingly, while Philander and Wayne Parnell opened the bowling, did not take long to make his presence felt. He delivered a ball on perfect line and length to Silva for a thin tickle through to the keeper. For Mendis, there was a fierce change in pace, banged in hard which took the glove and looped to the slips.
The visitors were on the slide.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix