Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day July 20, 2014

SA's rare SL win, Sangakkara's elite club

Stats highlights from South Africa's rare Test win in Sri Lanka, at Galle

  • This was South Africa's third win in 11 Tests in Sri Lanka and their first win in three visits to the island. Their last win came in the 2000 tour in Kandy when they beat the hosts by a margin of seven runs. Barring Australia, Sri Lanka is the only away/neutral country were South Africa have lost more Tests than they have won since their readmission to international cricket.

  • This was South Africa's 14th Test win in the subcontinent since their readmission. Their win-loss ratio of 1.40 during this period is the best among teams in away Tests, played in the subcontinent.

  • The year 2014 has already seen seven away wins in 16 Tests. Last year, there were only two wins in 41 Tests by touring teams, both of them coming against Zimbabwe who were beaten by Bangladesh and Pakistan.

  • Dale Steyn's 9 for 99 are the best bowling figures by a fast bowler in Tests at Galle. Morne Morkel's 7 for 78 in this match also beat the previous best figures by a fast bowler at this venue - Waqar Younis' 7 for 79 in 2000.

  • The 16 wickets shared between Steyn and Morkel in this match equal the most taken by a fast-bowling pair in a Test in Sri Lanka. Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa also took 16 wickets in a Test against West Indies at the SSC in 2001-02. The tally is also the second-highest by a team's fast bowlers in Galle. Pakistan's fast bowlers took 17 of the 20 Sri Lanka wickets to fall in a Test in 2000, which are the most taken by a team's fast bowlers in a match at this venue.

  • Kumar Sangakkara played a lone hand for Sri Lanka in their second innings scoring 76 runs. This was his ninth fifty-plus score in 13 innings this year. He has already scored 1036 Test runs in 2014, at an average of 86.33, the first batsman to aggregate those many runs this year. His last nine innings have produced one triple-hundred, two hundreds and five fifties.

  • Sangakkara has now aggregated 1000-plus runs in an year five times in his career. He becomes only the sixth Test batsmen to hit 1000-plus runs in a calendar year five or more times. Sachin Tendulkar achieved it six times. Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Brian Lara did it five times each. Including Sangakkara's five, there have been only 12 such instances by Sri Lanka batsmen. Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene are the other Sri Lanka batsmen to do it more than once.

  • Quinton de Kock took five catches in Sri Lanka's second innings taking his tally of dismissals for the match to nine. This is the sixth time a South Africa wicketkeeper has made nine or more dismissals in a Test. AB de Villiers' 11 dismissals against Pakistan in Johannesburg last year are the most in a match by a South Africa wicketkeeper.

  • Imran Tahir bowled 19 overs in Sri Lanka's second innings without taking a wicket. However, South Africa's part-time spinner JP Duminy bowled ten overs that fetched him the wickets of Sangakkara and Rangana Herath. Duminy was clearly the better spinner for South Africa in this match, taking 3 for 85 from 25 overs. Tahir took 1 for 139 from his 45 overs in this match.

  • This is Sri Lanka's fifth loss in 18 Tests at home since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement from Tests and they have managed only four wins during this period. Sri Lanka's win-loss ratio of 0.80 during this period is far inferior to their record at home before Muralitharan's retirement. In Tests since 2000 and up to Muralitharan's retirement, Sri Lanka had won 32 of the 54 Tests they played at home and lost 11 for a win-loss ratio of 2.90. Only 11 Tests had resulted in a draw during this period.

Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roshan on July 21, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    @Chris_P, you are absolutely correct. South Africa are only matched by Australia right now and in Steyn and Morkel have the most potent pace duo, who are backed very well by Philander. Combine this with that luscious batting line-up and you have the makings of a near-great team. Have to add the "near" bit as they do not have a quality spinner. But there is also no doubt that they are playing a very poor SL batting line-up right now who have the longest tail around and it does not wag at all - only bursts. Quite apart from Sangakkara and Mathews there are only 'here and there' contributions from the others. One positive note has been the inclusion of Upul Tharanga, surely a victim of shocking selectorial blunders in the past. Whether he can bring back the promise he showed early in his career, prior to his forced-exile remains to be seen. Away from the higher grounds of test cricket, I will be betting on the Saffers to win the world cup next year.

  • Tinus on July 21, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    @Shiva Jayaraman - There were 3 away wins last year, as South Africa beat Pakistan in Dubai. It is not technically a home venue for Pakistan, but it is an away win for SA. @Lalindra2012 - Don't be too hard on your side. SA is not an ordinary team when it comes to playing away from home. Sri-Lanka has had a brilliant year and they don't need to panic at all.

  • pat on July 20, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    Apart from Sanga,Silva and Mathewsall the other batters were disappointing in this test. I guess Thiri should be dropped immediately and Mahela can retire before the Pakistan tour and give those position to next generation of players. They might fail too . But at least the experience will help them to move forward.

    I'm extremely disappointing with Thirimanna's performance in both formats of the game. Thirmanne please drop yourself and give someone else the opportunity.

  • Peter on July 20, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    @Lalindra2012. I think you're a bit too hard on your team. They were not beaten by an ordinary side but by one of the best in the world. True, it's tough to win for visitors in SL, but credit where it's due.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    If the next pitch is equally spin friendly I would love to see Piedt in there in place of Philander or Tahir. I am amazed that Tahir fared so poorly.

  • Lalindra on July 20, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Really disappointing stuff by Sri Lanka, against South Africa in Sri Lanka the home side has lost all games except for one sole victory across two formats so far and with final test match to be played on the 24th. The Sri Lankan Head Coach is under tremendous pressure to deliver results as his boys so far have not live up to their potential and shown the intended results when needed...! After some exuberant cricket throughout the year and abroad in front of a home crowd Sri Lankan cricketers consistency in recent past has absolutely been pathetic to say the least..!

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