With the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka set to be decided on the third morning, the result could still go either way for two teams who have experienced opposing emotions during the match.
Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal took four for 39 as the Proteas were tumbled out for a lowly 128 in their second innings, and the bowler attributed his team’s performance to a mixture of ‘accuracy and intensity’.
‘We are quite confident that we are going to win,’ added Lakmal, although he admitted that it would not be an easy task against South Africa’s world-class bowling attack.
However, after another dreadful performance with the bat, Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein admitted that his side entered into the Sri Lanka series with something of ‘complacent’ mindset.
‘We came in a little bit complacent,’ admitted Benkenstein. ‘We addressed that, but it’s still very important to have the right attitude coming into a series. We say all the right things, but when you go in thinking we’ll probably have enough to beat the Sri Lankan side, I think it’s a dangerous place to be. You can’t change what is really inside you,’ added the former Dolphins stalwart who played 23 ODIs for South Africa.
‘We have not been at our best. I can’t really put my finger on what’s gone wrong now, but it’s been a long, full-on summer and the guys are only human. There may be a slight lack of energy.’
Nonetheless, Benkenstein remains positive about the potential for the Proteas bowlers to snatch victory away from Sri Lanka on the third morning.
‘The game is still on the line, and if we can have a good hour first thing (Saturday) morning we could make it hard for them to get the runs. There’s a little bit still there in the pitch and we have good bowlers. Sri Lanka have fought hard and put us under pressure, but overall the cricket has not been good, especially the batting – from both teams.’
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