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South Africa stare at a fast-approaching loss against Sri Lanka

Dimuth Karunaratne
Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne hits a boundary
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

On Day 3, it felt as if South Africa were stuck in quicksand – the more they tried to come out of it, the deeper they kept getting inside.

Sri Lanka 338 & 275-5 (Dimuth Karunartne 85, Angelo Mathews 71; Keshav Maharaj 3-154) lead by 350 runs

South Africa 124 & 139-5 (Theunis de Bruyn 45*, Dean Elgar 37; Akila Dananjaya 2-35, Rangana Hearth 2-54)


Overnight batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was able to add 26 more runs to his name before he was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi (9-9-1). Angelo Mathews (71) and Roshan Silva (32) then added useful runs to swell up the Sri Lankan lead.

It was always going to be difficult for South Africa on a turning pitch, especially given the first innings deficit. Mathews’ innings further ensured that South Africa were getting into deeper trouble.

When Sri Lanka declared with a handsome lead of 490, the fate of the match was almost sealed. Keshav Maharaj, the South African hero of the first innings, starred again with 3 wickets to his name.

In the second innings, South Africa showed more resolve than they have till now in the series has. Aiden Markram (14) and Dean Elgar (37) tried not to throw away their wickets. However, both were wrapped on the pads in front of the wickets by the spinners.

Apart from them, Theunis de Bruyn (45*) – in whom the South African team management has shown a lot of faith and promoted him at one down – offered some resistance while the other batsman continued to depart. The two mainstays of the South African batting line up in Faf du Plessis (7) and Hashim Amla (6) have already been dismissed.

By the close of Day 3, South Africa slumped to 139 for 5 as they were left staring at another loss. This effectively means that Sri Lanka are just a step away from clinching the two-match series 2-0.

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