Proteas on the verge of victory after Sri Lanka collapse
Sri Lanka first innings 157 all out
South Africa first innings 303 all out
Sri Lanka second innings 211 all out (Karunarathne 103, Dickwella 36; Ngidi 4/44, Sipamla 3/40)
South Africa second innings – at lunch, day 3 – 24/0
South Africa need 43 runs to win and have 10 wickets in hand
JOHANNESBURG - As bad as the South Africa’s batting collapse was on day 2 of the second Test, the Sri Lankans’ capitulation on Tuesday morning was arguably worse.
Leading by five runs, and with six wickets in hand, Sri Lanka had all the opportunity to make a fist of this match. Dimuth Karunarathne and overnight partner Niroshan Dickwella were well set to continue the resistance far into the third day.
Karunarathne made quick work of the nine runs he required to get to his ton, and in the process became the first batsmen from his nation to score a century at the Bullring in a Test.
But soon after he seemingly lost all his faculties as he tried to pull a delivery off of Anrich Nortje that cramped him up. Instead, he top-edged to Wiaan Mulder, who took a comfortable catch, Karunarathne departing for a brilliant 103.
And so the die was cast, and the dominoes fell in quick succession. No grand plan was required by the Proteas, no elaborate Rube Goldberg machine devised to line up the Sri Lankans and bowl them out.
Dickwella (36), Dusan Shanaka (8) and Wanindu Hasaranga (16) all gave up their wickets cheaply, playing horrendous and nonsensical shots that ended any hope of a prolonged fight.
Lutho Sipamla then ended the innings, accounting for Dushmantha Chameera (1) and Asitha Fernadno (0) to finish with figures of 3/40, which incidentally ended the hopes of Lungi Ngidi to compile a five-for.
In that period, Sri Lanka had managed to only score 61 runs, but lost six wickets in the process, leaving the Proteas a score of 67 to chase down and win the Test.
Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram negotiated a quick 20 minutes before lunch – Markram nearly falling in the over before the break when Kusal Mendis so nearly took a blinder of a catch at slip, only for the replays to show he had grassed it.