South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Plays of the Match
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INNINGS – Faf du Plessis, showed 36 ain’t old. In fact he showed that before the Test even started with that video clip of him shirtless.
Du Plessis is crucial to South Africa’s fortunes in all formats, but especially in the re-build that has to take place with the Test team.
Beyond his leadership is the runs he contributes too, and his 199 was a mighty good one.
SPELL (1) – Notwithstanding the fact that he picked up his first Test wicket on the opening day, he’s first few hours as a Test bowler weren’t very good for Lutho Sipamla.
He was far too inconsistent. But as a young player, he deserves enormous credit for first listening to where he’d gone wrong and then implementing those lessons.
His spell on the second morning, showed the way for the rest of the attack. Finished the match with figures of 6/100.
SPELL (2) – Wiaan Mulder is going to be a very important cricketer for South Africa. With the performance he produced in this match, especially with the ball – bowling 32 overs in hot conditions – he may have nudged ahead in the all-rounder pecking order – in the Test format at least.
His nine over spell on Tuesday morning, was one of very high quality, and South Africa will be a better team if he can continue to improve. He finished with 5/108 in the match and batted aggressively in making 36.
INJURIES – South Africa was good in this game, from day two onwards, but they were helped by the plethora of injuries that hit the Sri Lanka camp.
Dhananjaya de Silva went down injured with the tourists dominating a listless SA attack on the first day, and him retiring hurt was a major turning point in this Test.
Then they lost two frontline seamers; their holding bowler Kasun Rajitha and their fastest Lahiru Kumara.
They are still awaiting word on the fitness of the veteran seamer Suranga Lakmal for the second Test, while there are doubts about Dinesh Chandimal too.