Sri Lanka Take Complete Control In Durban

Sri Lanka Take Complete Control In Durban
Sri Lanka Take Complete Control In Durban
©REUTERS/Rogan Ward. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 338 and 256-7 (Sangakkara 108) v
South Africa 168 (Welegedara 5-52)
Second Test, Durban, Day Three
| | Day Two

Sri Lanka manoeuvred themselves into a virtually impregnable position on day three of the second Test in Durban as Kumar Sangakkara became only the third Sri Lankan ever – and the second in as many days – to score a Test century in South Africa. Dinesh Chandimal also chipped in with his second half-century of the match – a unique feat for one of his countrymen on Test debut.

The day began an hour late because of a wet outfield, and when it did finally start Sri Lanka were soon left wishing it hadn’t. The home side’s attack found their lengths straights away as the visitors were made to work hard in the remaining hour before the lunch break. Kumar Sangakkara was dropped at first slip by Graeme Smith when he had scored just three, and Tharanga Paranavitana barely laid bat to ball during his tortuous 22-ball stay at the crease. Mahela Jayawardene also fell before the break for 14 to the ever-impressive de Lange and, at lunch, South Africa were sensing a way back into the match.

However, everything changed after the interval as South Africa’s bowlers began to struggle, and Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera made the most of some loose bowling. The latter eventually fell for 43 after a fourth wicket stand of 94, and was soon followed by Angelo Mathews for three, but Dinesh Chandimal picked up where he had left off in the first innings and was class personified during his 54 from 92 balls. He and Sangakkara put on 104 for the sixth wicket and took the lead past 400 and the game beyond South Africa.

Both men fell just before stumps, with Sangakkara’s 108 the highest Test score by a Sri Lankan in South Africa, but, by that stage the damage was done, and much will now rest on South Africa’s top-order, who know they face a world record fourth innings run chase if they are to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

© Cricket World 2011