Sri Lanka became the first Asian nation and third country in the world to record a Test series win in South Africa when they thrashed the Porteas by eight wickets in the second and final Test played at Port Elizabeth a short while ago.
Chasing 198 to win, Sri Lanka lost two wickets early on day two, but Kusal Mendis (84 n.o) and Oshada Fernando (75 n.o) hit half centuries and shared an unbeaten century stand (163) to lead Sri Lanka to a crushing series win.
This victory also means Sri Lanka have won of their last four matches against Porteas. Sri Lanka beat them 2-0 at home last October.
Sri Lanka seamer Kasun Rajitha grabbed two wickets as South Africa limped to 91 for five at tea on day two of the second and final test at St George’s Park on Friday as the game continues to move forward at pace.
The home side have an overall lead of 159, but suffered a massive blow when they lost in-form Quinton de Kock on the last ball before the interval, caught and bowled by Suranga Lakmal.
Captain Faf du Plessis (31 not out) will resume after the break with debutant all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, seeking to push the South African lead past 200.
The home side’s top-order struggles have continued as opener Dean Elgar’s wretched form meant he was out for two on the last ball before lunch to seamer Vishwa Fernando.
Aiden Markram (18) had looked in good touch before he turned a Rajitha (2-20) delivery to Oshada Fernando at a short mid-wicket and Temba Bavuma (6) edged the same bowler to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Hashim Amla (32) was out 10 minutes before the interval when he edged part-time spinner Dhananjaya de Silva to slip, and the wicket of De Kock made it Sri Lanka’s session.
The bowlers have done superbly to restrict the home side, especially as they are without frontline slow bowler Lasith Embuldeniya, who broke his thumb attempting a caught and bowled in South Africa’s first innings and is out of the test.
Earlier, fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took four wickets as South Africa raced through Sri Lanka’s batting line-up to bowl the tourists out for 154.
Sri Lanka came out guns blazing from their overnight 60 for three, but the home side kept chipping away at the wickets column and took 90 minutes to end the tourists’ innings.
The visitors clearly had a plan to attack the home bowlers and scored 94 runs in 17.4 overs, but could not stem the fall of wickets.
Opener Lahiru Thirimanne (29) provided a caught and bowled chance for Duanne Olivier, who took three for 61, before Rabada removed nightwatchman Rajitha.
Kusal Perera, the centurion hero from the first test in Durban, continued where he left off by racing to 20 from 15 balls before he edged Rabada to wicketkeeper De Kock.
The home side made light work of the lower order, though Dickwella (42) mounted a spirited fightback before he was the last man out, a fine running catch from Elgar off Rabada, who finished with four for 38.
Sri Lanka won an epic first test by one wicket in Durban, a result that ensured South Africa’s streak of seven home series wins will come to an end.
If they avoid defeat in Durban, the touring side will become the first side from Asia to win a test series in South Africa.
South Africa 1st innings 222 all out (Aiden Akram 60, Quinton de Kock 86, Kagiso Rabada 22; Kasun Rajitha 3 for 67, Vishwa Fernando 3 for 62, Dhananjaya de Silva 2 for 15)
Sri Lanka 1st innings
Dimuth Karunaratne c Quinton de Kock b Kagiso Rabada 17
Lahiru Thirimanne c&b Duanne Olivier 29
Oshada Fernando b Duanne Olivier 0
Kusal Mendis c Quinton de Kock b Duanne Olivier 16
Kasun Rajitha b Kagiso Rabada 1
Kusal Perera c Quinton de Kock b Kagiso Rabada 20
Dhananjaya de Silva c Quinton de Kock b Willem Mulder 19
Niroshan Dickwella c Dean Elgar b Kagiso Rabada 42
Suranga Lakmal lbw Keshav Maharaj 7
Extras 0b 1lb 2nb 0pen 0w 3
Total (37.4 overs) 154 all out
Fall of Wickets : 1-25 Karunaratne, 2-34 Fernando, 3-59 Mendis, 4-64 Thirimanne, 5-66 Rajitha, 6-97 Perera, 7-128 de Silva, 8-154 Lakmal, 9-154 Dickwella
Did Not Bat : Fernando, Embuldeniya
Bowling: Dale Steyn 10 2 39 0, Kagiso Rabada 12.4 3 38 4, Duanne Olivier 10 1 61 3, Willem Mulder 3 2 6 1, Keshav Maharaj 2 0 9 1 ,
South Africa 2nd innings
Aiden Markram c Oshada Fernando b Kasun Rajitha 18
Dean Elgar c Niroshan Dickwella b Vishwa Fernando 2
Hashim Amla c Kusal Mendis b Dhananjaya de Silva 32
Temba Bavuma c Niroshan Dickwella b Kasun Rajitha 6
Faf du Plessis Not Out 50
Quinton de Kock c&b Suranga Lakmal 1
Willem Mulder c Kusal Mendis b Dhananjaya de Silva 5
Keshav Maharaj lbw Suranga Lakmal 6
Kagiso Rabada c Kusal Mendis b Suranga Lakmal 0
Dale Steyn c Lahiru Thirimanne b Dhananjaya de Silva 0
Duanne Olivier lbw Suranga Lakmal 6
Extras 0b 1lb 1nb 0pen 0w 2
Total (44.3 overs) 128 all out
Fall of Wickets : 1-10 Elgar, 2-31 Markram, 3-51 Bavuma, 4-90 Amla, 5-91 de Kock, 6-100 Mulder, 7-113 Maharaj, 8-115 Rabada, 9-116 Steyn, 10-128 Olivier
Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 16.3 3 39 4, Vishwa Fernando 10 1 32 1, Kasun Rajitha 7 1 20 2, Dhananjaya de Silva 11 1 36 3
Sri Lanka 2nd innings
Dimuth Karunaratne c Quinton de Kock b Duanne Olivier 19
Lahiru Thirimanne c Quinton de Kock b Kagiso Rabada 10
Oshada Fernando Not Out 17
Kusal Mendis Not Out 10
Extras 0b 4lb 0nb 0pen 0w 4
Total (16.0 overs) 60-2
Fall of Wickets : 1-32 Thirimanne, 2-34 Karunaratne
To Bat : Perera, Dickwella, de Silva, Lakmal, Embuldeniya, Rajitha, Fernando
Bowling: Dale Steyn 5 0 20 0, Kagiso Rabada 6 1 18 1, Duanne Olivier 3 1 10 1, Willem Mulder 1 1 0 0, Keshav Maharaj 1 0 8 0