Spectacular Seven! Senuran Muthusamy steps up to restrict Sri Lanka 'A'

Senuran Muthusamy claimed 7/122 on the opening day of the first ‘Test’ against Sri Lanka A on Monday. Photo: @ProteasMenCSA/Twitter

Senuran Muthusamy claimed 7/122 on the opening day of the first ‘Test’ against Sri Lanka A on Monday. Photo: @ProteasMenCSA/Twitter

Published Jun 12, 2023


Cape Town — It was just two seasons ago that Senuran Muthusamy changed provinces in order to get regular game time.

It was not that he did not want to compete with Keshav Maharaj - when the Proteas spinner was available - and captain Prenelan Subrayen for a spot in the Dolphins team, it’s just that Muthusamy wanted to be the “go-to-man” for North West. He wanted to be the spinner his captain threw the ball to when the team needed a job done.

And that’s exactly the attitude that Muthusamy headed off to Sri Lanka with after being selected as the sole specialist spinner in the South Africa A squad.

So, instead of being daunted by the challenge facing a visiting spinner on the subcontinent, Muthusamy responded with excellent figures of 7/122 on the opening day of the first “Test” to help dismiss the hosts for 325.

“I’m just happy to be playing cricket and not back at home in the cold,” Muthasamy told IOL Sport from Sri Lanka. “The wicket was taking turn and offering some spin early on, so I just tried to keep it simple and stuck to my processes.

“The seamers also put in a good shift, and we recovered nicely after they had a good start, but we could possibly have restricted them to under 300.”

This performance will certainly boost Muthasamy’s confidence a great deal heading into the home Test summer where he could likely be the Proteas’ No 1 red-ball spinner, particularly with Maharaj still on the injured list after snapping his Achilles in the second Test against the West Indies at the Wanderers in March.

Opener Lasith Croospulle top-scored for Sri Lanka A with 98 before Muthusamy trapped him LBW, while fellow opener Lahiru Udara contributed 48.

However, the latter was teenager Kwena Maphaka’s maiden first-class wicket after the 17-year-old left-arm seamer had him caught by Jordan Hermann.

Maphaka, who is in Grade 11 at St Stithians in Johannesburg, hadn’t played a four-day fixture prior to arriving in Sri Lanka, but seemed undaunted by the occasion as he also cleaned bowled Lakshitha Manasinghe later in the day to finish with figures of 2/43 from 11 overs.

He was the only seam bowler to gain any success as both Gerald Coetzee (0/28) and Lizaad Williams (0/45) went wicketless on the opening day. Off-spinner Tristan Stubbs (1/49) claimed the remaining Sri Lankan wicket.


IOL Sport