Home > Match report >

South Africa win series against Sri Lanka 1-0; move to No 1 in ICC Test rankings

Hashim-Amla-drives
Hashim Amla became only the second captain to win a series in Sri Lanka © AFP

By R Vishal

Jul 28, 2014

South Africa saved the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) against Sri Lanka in what was an absolutely exhilarating game. Sri Lankans led gallantly through their indefatigable Rangana Herath and a good support from Dilruwan Perera. Despite two rain interruptions, the ebb and flow of this heart-stopping game was prevalent throughout. Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers’s  heroics mid-day ended up being crucial and Vernon Philander played out the last half of the day’s play.

In what has been a tantalising Test series, there were several possibilities leading to the final day after a large chunk of the final day was lost due to rain. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock, the overnight batsmen were going steady on a the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) wicket that was slowly beginning to turn square. The South African rookies saw out the first half of the day’s play without much fuss. Herath had still not come on to bowl and Dilruwan Perera got the first breakthrough with a peach of a delivery.

In almost identical fashion to the way De Kock was dismissed in the first innings, the ball pitched on middle stump, turned and clipped the tip of Elgar’s off-stump. The batsman stood at the crease for a few seconds — astounded by the turn Perera had generated from the wicket. This bought Amla to the crease and De Kock, who was going so well till that point got his glove on a delivery that turned into him. The ball bobbed up in the air and was safely taken by Kithuruwan Vithanage at backward short-leg.

Herath was on song in this session and the Proteas desperately needed their star men to take them to safety. They did just that and blocked, watched and stood in the way of everything that Sri Lankans could muster. A two and half hour spell witnessed some of the stoic resistance that we have been used to by the men from the Rainbow Nation in the recent past. Only a magic delivery or a stroke of luck would have saved the Lankans and it was the former. Herath bowled a gem that breached De Villiers’ wicket. Immediately, Faf du Plessis was given out but South Africa referred the decision and was overturned.

Amla was a picture of resistance at Tea and was cramping up quite a bit. Just after the final session began, Sri Lanka were on top with a quick double-strike. First, it was Amla who nicked Dilruwan Perera’s delivery to Mahela Jayawardene at slip and Du Plessis departed almost identically a few overs later and the hosts could smell blood. They were elated and a lot depended on the shoulders of JP Duminy. South Africa got what they wanted and there was a rain break.

After the play resumed, Duminy and Vernon Philander calmly negotiated the spinners before Perera trapped Duminy in front to provide yet another twist in the tale. Duminy’s collective score over two innings in Colombo read 5  Steyn and Philander then followed suit and the first South African series victory on Sri Lankan soil in 21 years depended on these pacers. More than an hour’s play was left to play and Philander was unfazed and was calmed the storm with the experience of a veteran and the expertise of a top order batsman.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 421 (Mahela Jayawardene 165, Niroshan Dickwella 63; Vernon Philander 2 for 52) & 229 for 8 decl. (Upul Tharanga 30, Kumar Sangakkara 72, Angelo Mathews 63*; Morne Morkel 4 for 45, Dale Steyn 2 for 59) drew with South Africa 282 (Faf du Plessis 36, Hashim Amla 139*, AB de Villiers 37; Dilruwan Perera 5 for 69, Rangana Herath 4 for 71) & 159 for 8 (Quinton de Kock 37; Hashim Amla 25, Vernon Philander 27*; Rangana Herath 5 for 40, Dilruwan Perera 3 for 60)

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: 1st Test sees disappointing crowd turnout

Virat Kohli spot-kicks raise money for charity in Indian Super League

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Naman Ojha smashes double ton as Central Zone pile huge score against North Zone

David Warner half-century guides Australia to 113/0 against Pakistan on Day 2 of 1st Test

Sachin Tendulkar wishes fans on Diwali

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Contestants celebrate Diwali with Palak and Gutthi!

Xiaomi is migrating its international users’ data to improve service performance and strengthen privacy

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

WTA Tour Finals Singapore 2014: Serena Williams retains hopes of semi-final berth after trumping Eugenie Bouchard

David Warner strikes back for Australia after Sarfraz Ahmed’s ton lifts Pakistan to 454 in 1st Test

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Abhishek Bachchan, the surprise package in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprises Chinese crowd by speaking seemingly good Mandarin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here