Kumar Sangakkara © AFP (File Photo)
Jul 20, 2014
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Dale Steyn in the man of the match for his nine wickets in the game. Quite fitting, he bowled splendidly throughout. What a champ! Check out our match report here.
Steyn and Duminy bowling in tandem. Mathews finally takes on Duminy, blasting him for a four and a six off consecutive balls. Morkel and Imran Tahir continue after drinks. Lakmal looking quite settled, Mathews solid as ever. But can they continue for another session and a half? DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT! Big Morne Morkel gets his man! Lakmal holes out to Tahir at fine leg, and this could be all over now. But wait, Eranga is walking out! Brave, very brave from a man with eight stitches on his right hand. OH AND HE’S OUT! Morkel takes two in two, South Africa have won!
OUT! S Lakmal 12(18) c Tahir b Morkel, S Eranga 0(1) c Elgar b Morkel
Here comes Imran Tahir, a man who seems to make Ishant Sharma seem like the most consistent bowler in the world. Mathews faces a maiden. Here comes Philander. Oh what a shot! Move over Thirimanne, looks like Herath can succeed Sangakkara! Beautiful cover drive off the seamer. And he follows up with a shot more befitting a No 9. Slashed at that like a samurai, four to third man. Herath outscoring Mathews at the moment! Duminy comes on from ’round the wicket. Another maiden. Here’s Tahir again. Ho ho ho, Herath brings out the reverse sweep! Looks like Steyn’s wake-up call has awoken the latent batsman in Herath! He does have a high score of 80 not out, so he’s not really a bunny with the bat. Duminy again. OH HE’S FINALLY GONE! Herath slogs, and de Villiers takes a terrific catch! He ran all the way to square leg from slip! Amazing athleticism, but then you do expect that from ABD. It seems unlikely that Eranga will bat too, so SA effectively a wicket away from a win.
OUT! R Herath 20(18) c de Villiers b Duminy
Morkel starts with a maiden over after the break. Steyn comes back on now. AND HE STRIKES AFTER LUNCH! This is unraveling very quickly here. Perera has got to go, edged behind to de Kock. Remember, Shaminda Eranga won’t be able to bat after injuring his hand. So essentially, Sri Lanka are 162 for eight right now. All up to Mathews now. He plays the first outright aggressive stroke I’ve seen all day! Four over covers off Morkel. Steyn has grabbed nine in this match so far. Reminds one of Brett Schultz, who harrowed the Lankans all the way back in 1993. Oooh, that was a mean, mean short ball to Herath, he’s taken in on the helmet, and it’s gone down to the third man boundary. Wake-up call for Rangana! Oh and he’s responded in true bowler-vs-bowler fashion. Lovely off-drive for four. And he looks to slog again, but doesn’t get it further than short midwicket.
OUT! D Perera 0(7) c de Kock b Steyn
Dale Steyn comes on now. Duminy and Steyn bowling in tandem now. A lot will depend on whether Mathews can replicate the form he showed in England. He is proving resolute in his defence, but is shuffling around a little now and then, which might not be the best of ideas. Steyn again. AND STEYN AGAIN! Thirimanne edges this one to AB de Villiers at slip, and Sri Lanka slip further. Chandimal comes in now. Chandimal is actually a better batsman than his batting position suggests. This could be interesting. Morkel is back on now. OH IS THIS ANOTHER ONE DOWN? The umpire thinks so, Chandimal does not. He’s called out to Mr DRS. That seems to be off the shoulder. But wait, he has been given out! This was a close call. Dilruwan Perera comes in now. Steyn and Morkel really steaming in now. Sri Lanka head to lunch at 161 for six.
OUT! L Thirimanne 21(23) c de Villiers b Steyn, D Chandimal 1(6) c de Kock b Morkel
Morkel to resume after drinks. AND HE STRIKES FIRST BALL! Mahela Jayawardene has edged a beauty from Morlel to de Kock. South Africa will feel firmly in control now. This brings Lahiru Thirimanne to the middle. Imran Tahir to continue now. He’s bowling to two lefties though, which could go against him. He and Morkel are bowling in tandem now. And the Sanga-look-alike, Thirimanne, launches one from Tahir over the ropes to let off some steam. Now JP Duminy comes on. Just the two overs from Morkel. OH THAT’S OUT! Sangakkara will be kicking himself! Short, wide ball from JP, and Sanga pulls it STRAIGHT to Amla at short midwicket. This is a colossal wicket, and could well spell the end for Sri Lanka!
OUT! M Jayawardene 10(31) c de Kock b Morkel, K Sangakkara 76(145) c Amla b Duminy
Sangakkara and Jayawardene content to just play the ball on its merit. Philander and Tahir keeping things tight. A period of quiet one-two run overs pass before Mahela gets a full-toss from Tahir, which is duly placed through midwicket for four. Philander strays on Kumar’s pads off the first ball of the next over, and concedes four more. Sri Lanka head into the drinks break at 138 for two.
Both Morkel and Steyn continued to bowl well. Sangakkara known for poking at deliveries outside off chased one from Morkel but de Kock who was the hero for taking a superman-like catch to dismiss Silva suddenly became a zero as he dropped the big fish in the opposition line-up. Philander came in as first change and was using the breeze to find a bit of shape away from the right-handed Jayawardene. Steyn is also finding reverse swing and reversing it late.
Dale Steyn bowled with supreme control at the start of final day’s play. He got a nice shape away from right-handed batsman Silva and also bowled well to Sangakkara. He is certainly the main man in the South African camp. The track though is offering turn and Imran Tahir has to come to the party. Silva then lost his wicket an outswinger from Steyn. De Kock the wicketkeeper took a superb diving catch to his right.
K Silva c de Kock b D Steyn 38(98)
Hello and a warm welcome to what promises to be an exciting final day’s play in the first Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Galle. I am Shiamak Unwalla, and I will be bringing you live updates for the day’s play. In what has been a Test match dominated by South Africa, the Sri Lankan batsmen showed their mettle on the fourth day by doing well on a turning deck. Kumar Sangakkara, the veteran and Sri Lanka’s best batsman, countered the sharp turn expertly to end up with a fifty at the end of the day. Now, they require 260 more runs to script a famous win.
Earlier, South Africa’s new skipper, Hashim Amla declared the innings at 206 for the loss of six wickets to set Sri Lanka a target of 370 runs. However, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy haven’t been able to take advantage of spin friendly conditions on offer. On the fith day, Tahir has to come into play for South Africa to script only their third Test win in Sri Lanka. It has been South Africa who have dominated this Test match, as they bowled out Sri Lanka for just 292 runs to take a lead of 163 runs. Dale Steyn even took a five-wicket haul. Morne Morkel and other bowlers supported him well by bowling good spells.
Hopefully, it can turn into an exciting final day’s play with runs being scored and South Africa taking wickets. The track surely is offering enough assistance for the bowlers to make it an enthralling Test match.
Catch Live Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary of the Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test here