South Africa lose their way after a glimmer of hope against Sri Lanka
South Africa lost the 2nd Test due to the brilliance of the old wily Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath but did not surrender arms before putting up a fight.
Sri Lanka 338 (Dhananjaya de Silva 60; Keshav Maharaj 9-129) and 275-5 decl. (Dimuth Karunartne 85; Keshav Maharaj 3-154) win by 199 runs
South Africa 124 (Faf du Plessis 48; Akila Dananjaya 5-52) and 290 (Theunis de Bruyn 101; Rangana Hearth 6-98)
"We worked really hard and the results are due to the hard work of the team. Sri Lanka has some of the best spinners in the world and that's why we bothered the SA batsmen. Not thinking too far about the captaincy as it is a team game."- Suranga Lakmal, the winning captain.#SLvSA pic.twitter.com/LsRiEzadh3— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) July 23, 2018
The Proteas can take some heart from the fact that Theunis de Bruyn (101) and Temba Bavuma (63) put up a great partnership under testing circumstances. South Africa can be proud that even after their main batsmen in Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis failed, they did not fall like a pack of cards.
The conditions were alien to them and did not suit their style of playing but this is what international cricket is all about, isn’t it? However, a much better performance was expected from the team.
Rangana Herath showed his class yet again bagging a 6-for in the final innings. Herath having already announced his retirement will play his last match in the series against England.
Theunis de Bruyn, who is an upcoming prospect for South African cricket, showed great promise. His fighting hundred under adverse circumstances was a testament to his temperament. With this, Sri Lanka have sealed the two-match test series 2-0.
The last time South Africa toured the subcontinent, it was for a four-match Test series against India. South Africa lost the series 3-0 with a string of comprehensive defeats. The one match that did not have any result was washed out due to rain.
The Lankan series was a tough reminder that nothing has really changed much for the Proteas since then. South Africa would have certainly learnt that to perform well in sub-continental conditions they need to include quality spinners and their side. The decision of dropping Tabraiz Shamsi was beyond comprehension.
The limited overs leg of the series will now begin with the two teams slated to play five ODIs and one T20I against each other.
©Cricket World 2018