Tabraiz Shamsi says the Proteas-Sri Lanka contest is even despite bowling Sri Lanka out for 287 in Galle on day one.
A great bowling from the Proteas saw them take a strong position at 176-8 shortly after tea. The Proteas looked on top at this stage, but a stubborn batting performance from Sri Lanka’s tail sparked a recovery for the host nation.
Opening batsman Dalmuth Karunaratne – with help from his skipper Suranga Lakmal (10 off 40 balls) and last-man Lakshan Sandakan (25 off 55 balls) – scored 111 to bump Sri Lanka to a competitive total before the loss of the final two wickets. This helped Sri Lanka to 287 all out.
The fight from Karunaratne, who finished unbeaten on 158, coupled with Sri Lanka claiming the wicket of Aiden Markram for a duck before stumps with four on the board, should give the hosts some hope leading into day three.
Shamsi, who finished with 3-91 and wrapped up the innings, admitted that the contest was level on the day.
‘I will probably say that the guys towards the end batted really well. You must give credit to their tail as well. The guys from our side were really toiling hard, but credit to them [as] they stuck around with the in-batsman,’ said Shamsi.
‘As we expect it is a turning wicket. The spinners need to the damage, but our seamers were brilliant.’
Rabada played a massive role in the Proteas’ dominant period and finished with figures of 4-50, but Shamsi refused to take credit away from Sri Lanka’s final session run scoring.
‘Kagiso Rabada took four wickets. The rain did play a role there, I won’t say it caused havoc, but the ball getting wet and things like that do affect play. I don’t want to take credit away from the way they batted because the opener showed it is possible to score runs. He batted really nicely.’