Proteas captain Faf du Plessis fought a lone battle against the Sri Lankan spinners, scoring 48 on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

COLOMBO – If South Africa had any chance of levelling the series, it was ground into the red dust of the SSC by Sri Lanka on a balmy Saturday afternoon in the island’s capital.

With the local support streaming through the gates, they were treated to an exhibition of top-class spin bowling.

The hosts did not even require anything special from their wily old fox Rangana Herath, who claimed just one wicket, but instead it was the youngsters Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera that wrecked havoc.

The pair claimed the remaining nine wickets to fall, with Dananjaya claiming 5/52 and  Perera 4/40 to rout the Proteas for just 124.

It was ruthless, with the visitors only lasting 34.5 overs at the crease.

This horrific batting display follows last week’s capitulation in Galle, when the Proteas could also only survive 28.2 overs.

Only three South African batsmen went past double figures on Saturday, with captain Faf du Plessis fighting a lone battle with 48, Hashim Amla made 19 and Temba Bavuma 11. The rest was a sorry state of affairs.

The Proteas now trail by 214 runs, but Sri Lanka have declined the option to enforce the follow-on.

That means Dale Steyn will have another chance to claim the one wicket to surpass Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker.

 

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