Chanaka Welegedara dramatically turned the second of the two Boxing Day Tests on its head as a series of reckless shots from South Africa’s top-order helped him on his way to figures of five for 52.
The day began with records aplenty as Machant de Lange took the last three Sri Lankan wickets to fall to end with figures of seven for 81 and become the eighth bowler to take a five-fer on debut in 2011. Thilan Samaraweera also completed his century – only the second ever by one of his countrymen in South Africa – as the visitors were eventually dismissed for 338.
This looked to be not enough when Graeme Smith (15) and Jacques Rudolph (7) put on 22 for the first wicket without too many alarms, but the two of them, along with Jacques Kallis (0), fell in quick succession to spark a dramatic top-order collapse just after lunch.
AB de Villiers (25) and Hashim Amla (54) then steadied the ship with an intelligent stand of 76 that showed the true nature of the pitch, before Welegedara dispensed with both from consecutive overs. The tail-enders then faced a trial by spin from Rangana Herath and inched past the follow-on target, mainly thanks to Dale Steyn who hit an unbeaten 29, with Welegedara wrapping up the innings by having de Lange caught behind to complete his five-fer.
This gave the tourists an unexpected lead of 170, which they advanced by seven during the 2.1 overs that were possible prior to stumps, with Dale Steyn dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan for four during the penultimate over of the day.
© Cricket World 2011
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