Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on © Getty Images (File photo)
Jul 18, 2014
Sri Lanka were 182 for four at tea on the third day of their opening Test against South Africa at Galle, trailing by 273 runs in their first innings on Friday. Sri Lanka lost the key wicket of Upul Tharanga, who squandered an opportunity of scoring a hundred, in the second session.
The hosts, who resumed their first essay at 103 for four in the second session, slipped further wen Tharanga was dismissed for 83. The left-handed opener had batted well during his innings, thwarting the threat produced by South African pacers but his dismissal was surprising.
Tharanga came out of the crease to hit JP Duminy, but the ball turned sharply away and the batsman missed out on connecting completely. South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was sharp enough to dismantle the wickets and Sri Lanka were in a troublesome position.
Lahiru Thirimanne and Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews then joined forces to weather the storm. They batted cautiously, not allowing any more damage to be made. The two batsmen added 46 runs for the fifth wicket to keep the tourists at bay.
Earlier at lunch, the hosts were tottering at 104 for three at lunch on the third day of their opening Test against South Africa on Friday. Dale Steyn claimed two wickets and Morne Morkel claimed one as Sri Lanka ceded the advantage to the tourists who had piled up 455 for nine declared in their first innings. Upul Tharanga was waging a lone battle for Sri Lanka as he was batting on 65 off 131 balls, which included 12 boundaries.
Resuming their innings at 30 for no loss, Sri Lanka made a poor start as Kausal Silva failed to connect a bouncer perfectly and got a leading edge, and South African bowler Vernon Philander took a diving catch deep in the leg side to send the left-handed batsman packing, off Steyn.
South Africa 455 for 9 decl. (Dean Elgar 103, Faf du Plessis 80, JP Duminy 100*; Dilruwan Perera 4 for 162, Suranga Lakmal 3 for 75) lead Sri Lanka 182 for 4 (Upul Tharanga 83, Lahiru Thirimanne 32*, Angelo Mathews 24*; Dale Steyn 2 for 33, Morne Morkel 1 for 15) by 273 runs.
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)