Wiaan Mulder stars as Proteas close in on Test victory
CENTURION - Wiaan Mulder produced an impressive display of endurance in humid conditions here on Tuesday to drive South Africa close to victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park.
Mulder picked up two wickets in a nine over spell, in which he troubled the opposing batsmen with good lines and lengths. At lunch Sri Lanka were on 148/7, after Vishwa Fernando had been run out, quite comically, by a combination of Aiden Markram and Keshav Maharaj.
Wanindu Hasaranga will resume after the break on 28, with South Africa looking for just two more wickets to wrap up victory.
Sri Lanka are down to nine batsmen after Dhananjaya de Silva, tore his left thigh muscle while batting in the first innings.
Mulder built all the pressure in the morning, getting movement both ways off the surface while attacking the stumps. Kusal Perera, who’s heroics at Kingsmead last year are still fresh in the memories of many of the South African players chanced his arm with a couple of lusty blows and some injudicious running between the wickets, given that he was batting with an injured partner in Dinesh Chandimal.
Having had Perera dropped on 47 by Faf du Plessis - a devilishly difficult chance diving to his right at second slip - Mulder then bowled Chandimal, with a lovely delivery that seamed in off the surface and struck the top of off-stump.
🔴 WICKET | MAGIC MULDER STRIKES AGAIN— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) December 29, 2020
Mulder finds the edge od Dickwella's bat for his second wicket of the morning
🇱![CDATA]>🇰 Sri Lanka 99/4 after 24 overs
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Quinton de Kock dropped a sitter offered by Niroshan Dickwella down the leg-side when on two - also off Mulder - but it didn’t take the 22 year old long to create another chance, this time angling a delivery across the left-hander, which Dickwella edged, with De Kock accounting for his earlier miss.
Perera had chanced his arm slashing the ball into gaps, correctly having the DRS overturn a catch behind and got to his fifth Test half century before Anrich Nortje bowling from the Hennops River End got one to move across him, which he nicked, with De Kock gleefully snaffling the catch. Perera’s 64, included 10 fours, but his dismissal signalled the final bit of whatever resistance the tourists, might have mounted.
After Mulder’s nine over spell, in which he conceded 29 runs for his two wickets, Lutho Sipamla got his opportunity and as he had done at the end of Sri Lanka’s first innings, got the ball nipping awy off a good length, picking up the wicket of Dashun Shanaka.
Fernando, probably forgetting that Wanindu Hasaranga was injured, charged down the wicket for a quick single - that wouldn’t have been on even if Hasaranga was full fit - and was run out at the non-striker’s end.