Proteas wrap up comfortable Test win against bruised Sri Lanka
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CENTURION - South Africa wrapped up a comfortable innings and 45-run victory against a battered and bruised Sri Lanka here at SuperSport Park on Tuesday afternoon.
It took the Proteas just 23 minutes after the lunch interval to claim the win although there was a very farcical situation with Aiden Markram and Keshav Maharaj trying to get through overs quickly to help with the home team’s over rate. Nevermind that there was still more than a day and half left in the game, the ICC chose to be finicky about that.
The win will be a much-needed boost for the Proteas, who coming into this Test had won just one out of their last nine matches. That triumph came last year in the Boxing Day Test, although it wasn’t a signal of a new dawn. It will be the same here. The Proteas remain a work in progress, something head coach Mark Boucher has mentioned constantly.
The last two wickets to fall were those of Wanindu Hasaranga and Kasun Rajitha. Both were carrying injuries picked up in this match, which had already seen Dhananjaya de Silva, the top scorer in Sri Lanka’s first innings and Lahiru Kumara, knocked down by injury. In fact De Silva’s tour is over, and Sri Lanka’s coach Mickey Arthur said there was a chance De Silva may not be able to play in the series against England wich immediately follows this tour.
Hasaranaga, picked up a maiden Test 50 with some lusty hitting, before his luck ran out when he slogged Lutho Sipamla to Temba Bavuma at long-off. Hasarange made 59.
The final wicket came in the next over, when Rajitha, attempting to fend off a bouncer from Anrich Nortje, top edged the ball to Maharaj in the gully. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 180.
Each of South Africa’s four frontline seamers claimed two wickets, but it was Wiaan Mulder’s lengthy spell in the first session on Tuesday, that stood out. He picked up 2/39.