The Proteas skittled Sri Lanka for 154 before extending their lead to 78 runs at the close of the first session on day two of the second Test at St George’s Park. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Proteas started day two at St George’s Park in command. Having reduced Sri Lanka to 60-3 at stumps at the end of day one, their speedsters sped through the Sri Lankan batsmen, taking six wickets as Sri Lanka added just 97 runs to their overnight score.
Duanne Olivier removed Lahiru Thirimanne (29) caught and bowled, and Kagiso Rabada bowled the nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha (1) to start the ball rolling.
Rabada followed this up with a crucial breakthrough. He removed the star of the first Test, Kusal Perera (20), the batsman nicking an outswinger through to Quinton de Kock. This reduced Sri Lanka to 97-6 at the start of the 28th over.
Like the Proteas on day one, Sri Lanka suffered a top order collapse and needed someone to step up and rescue them.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella refused to allow the scoreboard to subdue their batting approach, and despite being six wickets down they persisted with an attacking mindset.
Debutant Wiaan Mulder took just nine balls to pick up his first Test wicket, and he did so without having conceded a run. The big moment happened when Mulder delivered a perfectly pitched ball that trapped De Silva (19) on the crease, resulting in him nicking the ball to De Kock, and so doing exposing the visitors’ tail.
Keshav Maharaj bowled just two overs in the innings, but in those 12 deliveries he trapped Suranga Lakmal leg before shortly after Sri Lanka passed the 150-run mark.
With Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya ruled out of the Test with a broken finger, Dickwella set about scoring as many runs as possible to reduce the first innings deficit.
The Sri Lankan vice-captain managed 42 off 36 balls (six fours and a six) before Rabada banged in a short delivery that the batsman cut into the air. Dean Elgar at point turned and ran back to hold an excellent catch over his shoulder. The dismissal wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings for 154 runs, 68 runs behind the Proteas’ first innings total, with Rabada finishing the innings with figures of 4-38.
For the record, the Proteas enjoyed a 44-run first innings lead over Sri Lanka in the first Test at Kingsmead.
The Proteas failed to see out the remaining 30 minutes of the first session, as Dean Elgar nicked Vishwa Fernando behind after scoring just two runs, leaving the Proteas 10-1 at lunch, with a lead of 78 runs into lunch.
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