COLOMBO – Before this series, the Proteas were the world’s No 2 Test side. After this expected whitewash, they will remain at No 2.
But heck, they haven’t remotely resembled the world’s second best team on the island of Sri Lanka this past fortnight.
Not only has their batting been downright awful and their selection ordinary, but now their body language and fielding have gone to pot too.
Perhaps that is what happens when a team are trailing by 413 runs and the opposition still have six wickets in the bank, with two-and-a-half days’ play remaining.
But South Africa have certainly looked ordinary on this third morning on Sunday, virtually waiting for Sri Lankan captain Suranga Lakmal to declare and put them out of their misery.
After the thrashings the Sri Lankans were on the receiving end of in South Africa not too long ago, the Proteas though should not expect any mercy from their hosts, who will possibly wait until Angelo Mathews reaches three figures.
The former skipper has moved to 53 not out, with Roshen Silva unbeaten on 19 at the break.
The only consolation for South Africa has been the sole wicket of their chief nemesis Dimuth Karunaratne for 85, with Lungi Ngidi the wicket-taker.
Karunaratne will finish the series with 356 runs at an average of 118.66, which should put him right up there when the Man of the Series award is decided.
To put his runs into context, the entire South African team have managed just 326 runs across their three innings in the series thus far.
Lunch, Day 3:
Sri Lanka: 338 and 237/4 (Karunaratne 85, Mathews 53*; Maharaj 2/134)
South Africa: 124
Sri Lanka lead by 413 runs