South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Durban, 2nd day December 27, 2011

Welegedara gives Sri Lanka big lead

111

Sri Lanka 338 (Samaraweera 102, Chandimal 58, de Lange 7-81) and 7 for 1 lead South Africa 168 (Amla 54, Welegedara 5-52, Herath 4-49) by 177 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In what has already been a champagne year for Test cricket, Chanaka Welegedara and Rangana Herath set Sri Lanka up for what could be the biggest Test upset of 2011. There were no signs of Durban's famed Green Mamba - tides which are rumoured to make the Kingsmead track juicy - but that didn't prevent South Africa from being knocked over for their lowest total against Sri Lanka. While the lower order had to deal with some sharp spin, the specialist batsmen didn't have to face any snorters, which makes the collapse more baffling.

An assured stand of 76 for the fourth wicket between Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers showed how few gremlins there were in the surface, but collapses on either side of that partnership had South Africa scrambling to avert the follow-on. Their tail managed to achieve that, before Welegedara completed his five-for and ended the innings by getting Marchant de Lange to edge to the keeper. de Lange's 7 for 81 had limited Sri Lanka to 338 in the morning, but instead of a well-earned rest after becoming the eighth debutant to take a five-wicket haul this year, he had to bat in the gloom towards the end of the day.

The substantial lead of 170 did not seem likely even after Thilan Samaraweera became only the second Sri Lanka batsman to make a Test century in South Africa. de Lange had ripped out the final three batsmen for three runs, but unfortunately for the home fans the wickets continued to tumble even when South Africa were batting.

Two overs after lunch, Jacques Rudolph continued the trend of batsmen throwing away their wickets, by helping a short ball on leg stump to deep-backward square leg. Graeme Smith followed minutes later, as he fished without footwork at a Chanaka Welegedara delivery to give wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal his first Test catch. It got a lot worse in Welegedara's next over as Jacques Kallis edged to slip to collect a rare Test duck, leaving South Africa at 27 for 3.

South Africa still had two of their most bankable batsmen in the middle - Amla and de Villiers - and they revived the home side by comfortably playing out the rest of the session. de Villiers was subdued, but Amla showed his wide range of whiplash shots through the off side. There were several punches through cover for four and the point boundary was peppered as he pounced on the wide deliveries offered. Dilhara Fernando, regarded as the spearhead of the Sri Lankan attack, was only brought on as the fourth-change bowler, but even his introduction didn't stop Amla, who lashed three fours in one over to cruise towards another half-century.

If South Africa were breathing easier at tea, when they were 100 for 3, they were left gasping by what followed after the break. de Villiers chased a half-volley so wide that he ended up on his knees as he edged the ball to second slip. Welegedara had his fourth important wicket two overs later when Amla was caught behind pushing at a delivery angling across.

That put Sri Lanka in charge, and two players whose places in the South Africa side are under scrutiny were left to launch a rescue effort. Questions over Mark Boucher's batting ability will intensify after his poke to gully off Rangana Herath for 3, but there will be even more pressure on Ashwell Prince after his botched reverse-sweep against the spin, that too when South Africa were 119 for 6. With Herath proving too good for Morne Morkel, South Africa had lost five for 16.

Dale Steyn didn't get a wicket in a completed Test innings for the first time since 2008, but he still made a crucial contribution as he shepherded South Africa past the follow-on mark. The final two wickets put on 49, again showing that this wasn't a pitch impossible to bat on.

South Africa's capitulation made Samaraweera's century - only his second outside Asia -even more significant. He and Herath defied the home side for more than an hour in contrasting style: Samaraweera was 14 short of his hundred overnight and was in no hurry to reach the landmark, while Herath swung at everything, playing some comical yet effective flat-batted swipes against the hulking fast bowlers.

Samaraweera got to his century soon after drinks, pushing the ball towards cover for two, before exuberantly celebrating the milestone by pretending to shoot at someone in the dressing room. Herath was also enjoying himself, with consecutive boundaries, both confident steers past cover point as Sri Lanka moved to 335 for 7 before de Lange's burst brought the innings to a quick end.

South Africa had some cheer late in the day, when Tillakaratne Dilshan perished for 4, but Sri Lanka are still in pole position to extend the home side's Durban jinx.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 28, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    be carefull of lankan lions, welldone sri lanka. go , go go, good luck boys

  • MENDIS_Forever on December 28, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    what shouls i say..go sl!!!!!!!!

  • yorkslanka on December 28, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Well done to SL on a great day yesterday but there Is a long way to go to secure a draw never mind a win yet.we must bat ourselves to safety first and then hopefully into a winning position from where the bowlers must perform again..nice to see our "toothless" bowlers as they are often describe rattle out a strong batting unit in their own conditions...good luck SL we need a lead of 350...

  • on December 28, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    gud test match im watching lets hope Lanka wins this one sa we got a gud 3rd test

  • cticfan on December 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    The Proteas BATTING collapse is far 2 familiar, I listened to the commendetor comparing the collapse to that of the Ausies, The fact is the Ausies collapse is a once off THING while the proteas are now synonymous with top order batting collapse or should we say the dreaded "chocking"....

  • adrienvinoth on December 28, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    welldone sri lanka. But stil lot more be done to win the match. Can get 300 plus score, that s enough to win this match

  • stormy16 on December 28, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    I must say I was expecting SA to bat for two days and this is great position for SL to be in and they must make this count. Its time for Sanga and Mahela to delivery - they can bat SA in to a corner today and have two days to bowl them out under pressure but dont expcet to play airy fairy shots against a quality attack. While I understand the anger of many SL fans the fact is this game is far from over and SA have come back from worse positions to win games. This also doesnt prove that the SL bowling unit is suddenly some fiery attack - lets face it the SA batsman gifted many wickets - something the SL batsman love doing - and the SL attack has been consitently poor for a while now. Having said all of that for once (probably first time since?) SL are ahead in the game and the batters have the opportunity to push the oppositon in to a corner - it really is a case of now or never!

  • on December 28, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Some people says SA batters thrown their wkts,then what about Chandimal,Mathews,Samaraweera and Dilshan. Dilshan's wkts came worst ball of Imran.Chandimal also thrown and easily Thilan can stay at the wkt (even he running out of his partners). Whenever SL win in abroad that is because of opponent played poorly and when SL lost then it is because of opponent played briliantly. What a funny world. However still match is not over hence SL should play carefully in order to win this test. All the best SL. You can do it this time.

  • on December 28, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    so if we win Kepler Wessels should run naked on the pitch, agree?

  • bMike on December 28, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    I'm really happy about performance of SL team because this could be a good lesson for some of South African swollen-headed commentators who think there is no way SA can lose. It seems like they have forgotten that South Africa lost their last test series in SL (SA lost 2-0 to SL ) and SA also lost the last ODI series 5-0 to SL when they toured SL for an ODI series last time. You should always respect oppositions & should not underestimate them.

  • on December 28, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    be carefull of lankan lions, welldone sri lanka. go , go go, good luck boys

  • MENDIS_Forever on December 28, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    what shouls i say..go sl!!!!!!!!

  • yorkslanka on December 28, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Well done to SL on a great day yesterday but there Is a long way to go to secure a draw never mind a win yet.we must bat ourselves to safety first and then hopefully into a winning position from where the bowlers must perform again..nice to see our "toothless" bowlers as they are often describe rattle out a strong batting unit in their own conditions...good luck SL we need a lead of 350...

  • on December 28, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    gud test match im watching lets hope Lanka wins this one sa we got a gud 3rd test

  • cticfan on December 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    The Proteas BATTING collapse is far 2 familiar, I listened to the commendetor comparing the collapse to that of the Ausies, The fact is the Ausies collapse is a once off THING while the proteas are now synonymous with top order batting collapse or should we say the dreaded "chocking"....

  • adrienvinoth on December 28, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    welldone sri lanka. But stil lot more be done to win the match. Can get 300 plus score, that s enough to win this match

  • stormy16 on December 28, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    I must say I was expecting SA to bat for two days and this is great position for SL to be in and they must make this count. Its time for Sanga and Mahela to delivery - they can bat SA in to a corner today and have two days to bowl them out under pressure but dont expcet to play airy fairy shots against a quality attack. While I understand the anger of many SL fans the fact is this game is far from over and SA have come back from worse positions to win games. This also doesnt prove that the SL bowling unit is suddenly some fiery attack - lets face it the SA batsman gifted many wickets - something the SL batsman love doing - and the SL attack has been consitently poor for a while now. Having said all of that for once (probably first time since?) SL are ahead in the game and the batters have the opportunity to push the oppositon in to a corner - it really is a case of now or never!

  • on December 28, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Some people says SA batters thrown their wkts,then what about Chandimal,Mathews,Samaraweera and Dilshan. Dilshan's wkts came worst ball of Imran.Chandimal also thrown and easily Thilan can stay at the wkt (even he running out of his partners). Whenever SL win in abroad that is because of opponent played poorly and when SL lost then it is because of opponent played briliantly. What a funny world. However still match is not over hence SL should play carefully in order to win this test. All the best SL. You can do it this time.

  • on December 28, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    so if we win Kepler Wessels should run naked on the pitch, agree?

  • bMike on December 28, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    I'm really happy about performance of SL team because this could be a good lesson for some of South African swollen-headed commentators who think there is no way SA can lose. It seems like they have forgotten that South Africa lost their last test series in SL (SA lost 2-0 to SL ) and SA also lost the last ODI series 5-0 to SL when they toured SL for an ODI series last time. You should always respect oppositions & should not underestimate them.

  • WolfJet on December 28, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Well done to SL. Love the fighting spirit. Bat with determination today.

  • ShehanJay on December 28, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Well, Sri Lankan fans...don't count your chickens before they are hatched. Remember what happened to Australia when they bowled out SA for a low total in the recently concluded Aus vs SA test series? SA bowled Australia for an even lower total. Anything is possible in cricket...so lets wait and see.

  • on December 28, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    i would like to mention i thing to all the SA commentators, who keep on saying bad about Sri Lankan batters and bowlers,,, which is much better??? bowling well on a bowling friendly pitch or bowling well on a batting friendly pitch where it wont assist bowlers at all. SA bowlers bowled well on a friendly pitch to them... green, bouncy n home pitch. SL bowlers bowled well on a batting friendly pitch which offered noting to them. SA batters on there home conditions played poorly, what people says is now its an biggest upset of 2011.... funny world

  • on December 28, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    BIG BIG Thanx to ICC for giving this motivation to SL players by paying at least a portion of their payments specially directly to them ... I am not insulting SL Team but think how will u feel if u dont get salary from almost a year and u have to work with very bad and corrupted management ... can you perform well ???? we are humans .... we need good mentality to perform well in any where else... that's what happened to our cricketers too...

  • Dhananjana on December 28, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Hi Kepler Wessels where r u and your nasty comments about SriLanka watch out SA going to loose by biggggggggg margin

  • priceless1 on December 28, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    welldone SL ,but still lot more to be done to win this match,now they have to put a decent second innings score on the board , otherwise SA will still win this one....its time for the senior players like Sanga,Mahela to bat with responsibly and give their bowlers a chance ,its now or never if they failed then those two should immediately retire...no point in hanging around in the team after that...

  • on December 28, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    If, after the first test, South Africans still under-estimated the Lankan bowlers they desere to lose. Then it was already clear that the real difference was which top-order could take the sting out of the bowling. This time it was the Lankan top-order although Smith helped by under-bowling De Lange early on. Samaraweera played a tyring attack with a deviant spinner (where's Harris) brilliantly. Someone in the Proteas needs to replicate that to avoid defeat or even to just save face. Why does Rudolph play those shots? The old Rudolph would never have, before he was wronged by CSA and Bucknor. It seems like he has lost patience. Spend time in the middle until the bowlers get tired, Jacques, and if you must play a shot, do it with 100% conviction. Prince, on the other hand, is simply out of his league again. Boucher is doing his job, leave him alone. Steyn is becoming the new Kallis...

  • on December 28, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    BOOOOO!!! Shame on you Wessels!!! Kepler Wessels is the Sunil Gavascar for SA.., both think their respectable team is the best and keep on insulting the opponents..,

  • on December 28, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    @Hiran Thomas Sri Lanka are not the most unpredictible team... here's the deal....1. Pakistan 2. Sri Lanka ....you cant predict pakistan :D

  • rahulcricket007 on December 28, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    after the toss when dilshan chose to bat first , smith has a smile on his face thinking that his team could bowl sl less than 200 and then take a lead & win the match . but the things have gone just opposite . i hope sanga makes 100 here . his decision was a brave one to come out to bat in last overs of day instead of sending a nightwatchmen .go slr . good luck from india.

  • BDHUNTER on December 28, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I think time to change the squad for future ,should drop price,boucher and must be replaced with some young like Sty Van,Elgar,F. Bedrihan........./Rosso.

  • siriherath on December 28, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    With great uncertainties of cricket, all 4 results are still possible! SL doesn't have to perform miracles - just refrain from playing stupid cricket, like Sanga offering a return catch or a 7 iron loft to long mid off, Malela's overused reverse sweeps and late cuts, Thisara's comical fending off bouncers and of course Dilshan's inept application(proven already) etc. SA need 11 players firing together to unearth a miracle. But then, the weather can make a mockery of it all. So far though, it is all about the word 'in-spite' (or even despite). SL managed to get where they are in spite of the wholly unwelcome meddling by politicos, Samaraweera played like the captain he should have been, inspite of belittling by thick selectors time and again, SL scored their highest score inspite of their world no.1 batter scoring 0 and despite playing in SA against SA. (Durban has been lucky for SL). Don't let the momentum sway - build on it, for this match & thereafter. YOU CAN DO IT!

  • shazran1984 on December 28, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    I dont mind SL getting all out for 100 . anything over 250 is a daunting task in this wicket specially considering the turn in 4th innings .

  • shazran1984 on December 28, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Positive corelation between Income & Performance .. anyway it was a brilliant performance by SL . this would be the turning point for SL cricket .....

  • Hammad-Hasan on December 28, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    As soon Sirilankan players got paid they came back in form :) that means they are out of form because they are out of money

  • on December 28, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    WOW Where are those cricket experts who said SA shouldn't play teams like SL and play only India and Australia?? Maybe you are too busy eating your words. Well Played Sri Lanka..Get some runs on the board and roll these Big heads over. We are waiting for a big cheer!! GL HF

  • on December 28, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    this is very ordinary cricket by sa. they are not coming out from the choking. in any sense of cricket sa is a good team both bat and bowl. sa's fielding is exclusive all the time.

  • on December 28, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Can't stop Lions from roaring... the do have potential.. still SA got some chance, if the bat extraordinary.. but i think they are almost humiliated after giving BIG TALKs , criticizing SL

  • DwightR on December 28, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    it is no surprise that SL put up this performance for 3 reason..1- Samarewera back in the #5 where he should never have left, he is an elite test batsman and the board was crazy to drop him. 2. the inclusion of Chadimal at wk, i personally feel that paranavitana should be dropped and chandimal open with dilshan but we all knew and have been asking for his test debut for a long time because he has the potential to be one of the best batsman in the game and is the future of SL batting alongside Mathews. 3. the most important- THEY GOT PAID! its no coincedence that they show up and put together the best cricket they've played since the world cup (last time they got paid) cause the players finally recieved thier salary!

  • IanJF on December 28, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Hope Kepler Wessles enjoyed hes Sri Lankan baked "Humble_Pie" last night ??

  • on December 28, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    It is hilarious to see how some writers miss the obvious. None of the dismissals are described as good bowling by SL.Nobody said Chandimal poked stupidly at a wide delivery. Actually De Lang got two or three wickets off some bad deliveries including a full toss. Whereas Welagedara showed his consistency with line and length and the SAs couldn't absorb the pressure. And Boucher and Tahir got two rippers from Rangana. De Villiers was lucky to get away with a few. Amla was the only player who was having some comfort out there. This is not over yet, but I am sure Kepler Wessels must be clearly worried that he might have to eat his words.Well played Lions, keep fighting hard. A good day today will ensure the victory.

  • on December 28, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    hope weather wont come against us..if that does not happen victory is sure for sri lankans

  • on December 28, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    You got to be patient and bat carefully.If SR get shot out for 150 or 200 SA will win the match as they did for Aussies.First make sure we put up a good total and then think about winning.We are playing with SA in their own backyard.All the best.

  • MDCP on December 28, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    oops hold on SRI LANKA!!!! This bowling attack was called "pedesetrian" by Mr. Kepler Wessels. Now how "pedestrian" is the SOUTH AFRICAN batting line up????

  • Ameega on December 28, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    Upset? Really? May be an upset for Siddharth Monga. Usually an upset is something comes from a minnow, like Zim or Ban, not from a side like SL. This way you would say 4 upsets in a row by Ind against Eng this year to whitewash them and so on. And @ some commentors here, ya, if SA going good, that is becos their batters and bowlers doing good. If SA is doing bad, that's becos they are doing something wrong. Nothing good in SL batters or bowlers at all! LoL. Having said all these, I must say, SL have a lot more to do to prove it in this test match.

  • MDCP on December 28, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    great job by the lankans.... thisara and dilhara were a disappointment though, but hope they wud support better in the 2nd inns.... need a good 2nd inns score of 200+... GO SANGA lead the way!!!!!

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    Some people says SL bowling attack is week.Also the reason for the collapsed of SA is poor short selection.I but de lange is only success man of the SA team.why are Imran Thahir???he like a joker.if u want attack using spinner, use good spinner against sub continental countries.Look Rangana Herath.Also i like 2 tell 4th innings of this match is mainly SA vs Rangana Herath.if SL took only 150 runs in second innings but it become very dangerous against good spin bowling.

  • ranilranathunga on December 28, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Where is Kepler Wessels and his Comments... SA nearly missed the follow on SA pitches...

  • Deepfreezed on December 28, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    Looks like SA has similar batting worries. Getting blown away at home on their own turf while yapping about the weakness of SRI.

  • Gizza on December 28, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    It appears that even Gary Kirsten cannot stop South Africa's habit of choking against any opposition. The only constant I can see since 1999 when it really started is Jacques Kallis. He has been one of the greatest allrounders ever but does he contribute to the choking? No surprise that is was Jacques who got a duck. But still watch out Sri Lanka. If both Steyn and De Lange fire at the same time (imagine if they had Philander instead of Morkel) we could see something similar to Australia's 47 all out.

  • SDHM on December 27, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    What is going on with batting line ups around the world at the moment? In the spirit of Zaltzman, I've heard that when England and Pakistan are the two most solid batting cards in world cricket, it's a surefire sign of the impending apocalypse. All this on the brink of 2012 too... I hope everyone has their affairs in order!

  • on December 27, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    What a shocking batting display from South Africa. Apart from Kallis (who got a great one early) and Amla (who got one that seemed to keep low) the top order of South Africa displayed a lack of control and schoolboy shot selection. That, coupled with a more disciplined bowling display from the Sri Lankas, has put SA in serious danger of losing this match. I hope the batsmen were given the hairdryer treatment in the dressing room after that horror show. Well done to SL for coming back the way they did. I expected their batting to improve but their bowling really surprised me. That said, I'm not sure why there are so many comments about "greentops" and swing and fast bouncy tracks. The last two days have seen the ball move the least I've ever seen in a Durban Test and this pitch could hardly be described as fast. Perhaps this fact brought the batsmens' guards down.

  • cric_freak88 on December 27, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    always a delight to c a left handed fast bowler bamboozling right handed batsmen , and welegedara just did tht today , class bowling !

  • Harmony111 on December 27, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    Someone was saying that Asian teams can't play on fast and bouncy wickets. Look what happened there. SA first lost to India in Durban last year and now will lose this match to SL. Well played SL. It is really embarrassing that SA at one point were looking like following on. Kallis can have all the runs in the world and all the wickets too but he just can't play on fast and bouncy wickets. This even when he has been brought up on these wickets, why single out KS and MJ only then?

  • on December 27, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    hopefully this will restore some faith with the Sri lankan team. even though they have lost a few great players it doesnt mean they cant play competitive cricket. hopefully they can build on this tomorrow and slowly but surely the results will come. good luck SL please prove the harsh armchair critics wrong!

  • SixFourOut on December 27, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Prince needs to be dropped. Only one fifty in 12 innings is not good enough at test match level. Bring in Duminy who has huge potential and is still young. Boucher needs to be dropped, I don't know why some people are so loyal to him, he has never been a particularly good batsmen, in fact he has never been amongst the top 4 keeper batsmen ever, but the odd, rare fighting innings has allowed him to stay in the team. His keeping is waning too. Boucher is averaging 20 in his last 14 innings and is not going to get better. With Kallis out of form, he is the only one who deserves a pass until he gets back in form, Boucher and Prince not so much

  • delimack on December 27, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    Werner - Kepler Wessels was never a great player and as a capt did not produce results. He was never in the record books and never got a wisden cap. Check your facts in the records Mr. Werner

  • Harmony111 on December 27, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Someone was saying that Asian teams can't play on fast and bouncy wickets. Look what happened there. SA first lost to India in Durban last year and now will lose this match to SL. Well played SL. It is really embarrassing that SA at one point were looking like following on. Kallis can have all the runs in the world and all the wickets too but he just can't play on fast and bouncy wickets. This even when he has been brought up on these wickets, why single out KS and MJ only then?

  • on December 27, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    @chamalqif can't be more agree with you mate, not something related to this article but u told the truth .

  • on December 27, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    Walegedara has done a wonderful job by removing the leading batsmen of SA.with a lead of 177 with 9 wickets in hand with Sangakkara still at the crease,SL's prospects to win & level looks like ver high unless a miracle from SA bowlers like Steyn who is very lucky to get wickets in SA alone with his misleading out swingers on the off stick.Players should be cautious not to fall a prey to Steyn' Luck! If they can increase lead to around 400 the probability of winning seems to be very high. They certainly need a win after the Gulf debacle against Pakistan. Sangakkara& Jayawardene Ned to rise to this occasion where the Bowlers have shown the way to fulfill further requirement for a win.They should not miss this opportunity.CAUTION& PATIENCE are the Key words for them at the moment.They should remember their main foe is luck & try very hard to overcome the influence of this Foe.Once this achieved,further course of action they could sit together & think later. Sreedharan Mundanat

  • on December 27, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    Good to see all Asian teams are playing and taking advantage of Swing. Well Done SriLanka... Hopefully team will not throw wicket away and score 400+ target for SA.

  • on December 27, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    Is this the 'South African B team' that Gary Kirsten & co were talking about!? Nasty statements like that have a habit of coming back and biting you.Come on Sri Lankan Lions eat the proteas.Cheers Peter

  • phermon on December 27, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    I criticised Smith for forecastting a more "clunical" approach by the Proteas - on the grounds that being more boring was highly unhelpful and what they really need is to be allowed to unleash their talent - I hadn't realised at the time quite what he meant. All is now clear!!

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    Despite all the hype about bowlers it's been the top-order batsmen who made the difference in the last test and throughout the season in South Africa. And this time it seems to be Sri Lanka's batsmen who got through the Protea pacemen to expose Tahir. They did get some help from Smith who under-bowled De Lange, the only one who did not seem tired by the time Samaraweera came to the pitch. South Africa's top-order will get another chance to bite down hard in this test. If they don't, it will be an easy victory for Sri Lanka, utter humiliation and an inexplicable performance by test-hardened batsmen. 2011 has proven once more than modern batsmen are very vulnerable to any kind of swing. Maybe that's the price paid for the short form of cricket... Conditions were not as trying today as in previous tests, but the ball did swing and only one batsman, Samaraweera, seemed to make head or tail of it, which is surprising given the combined experience of these batsmen.

  • nimal183 on December 27, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    That is the way to do it guys.. keep it up don't let it slip... this is a golden opportunity!!!

  • haq33 on December 27, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Love U Sri Lanka. World cricket needs a Lankan revival. And what an excellent comment by VipulPatki regarding greentops.

  • 4test90 on December 27, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    Don't get too excited SL - we (Aust) led them by 188 on 1st inns just last month and lost by 9 wickets !!!!

  • Australian0007 on December 27, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Samaraweera was dropped by selectors three months ago, now they were responsible (Dulip Mendis Personaly)for that decision SHOULD resighn or should be SACKED. He and Sanga are the best test batsmen in Sri Lankan team not Jayawardane for last few years. Other mistakes of selectors are brought back Dilhara, not include Chandimal before ahead of Thirimanne, & later ahead of Kaushal de Silwa,appointed Dilshan as captain, not give a chance Senanayake, probabaly the best right arm spinner SL have & other stupid mistakes.

  • chamalqif on December 27, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    this is not about SL come back. this is about PAK fans who always with SL and they always thought SL is the second after PAK team. Thanks you guys always countering bad comments from Indian fans.

  • xylo on December 27, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Wow... South Africa seems to suffer from a last-test-in-the-series syndrome just like how India suffers from the first-test-in-the-series syndrome!!

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    @delimack. You are surely joking! Using Kepler's name and non knowledge in the same sentence. Sri Lanka is still a weak team, it was poor stroke making from the SA batsmen that allowed them back into the match and the pitch also offered more to the bowlers as the day went one. Kepler Wessels's knowledge is his little finger is more than yours.

  • dan_loves_cricket on December 27, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    well, seems like it's South Africa's B team out there battling it out with the Lankans....cos according to some specialists, even South Africa's A team could easily beat the lankans!!! match is still on,but never expected this from the africans..Kudos to the lankans.

  • landl47 on December 27, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    Good job so far by SL, but I'm guessing SA will still win this test. I think the SA bowlers will be fired up and will roll SL over for less than 150. The SA batsmen won't fare so poorly a second time against a weak bowling side and will knock off the runs. I hope I'm wrong, because I'd love to see SL win a game, but I don't think they have the quality to do it.

  • warusham on December 27, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    This is not the biggest upset in test cricket as the writer says. Sri Lanka is a world class cricket team and they were among the top 4 test teams in the world for some time. Only problem they had was they didn't perform well as a team. But in this test match they performed as a team and result is evident. Therefore this is not a biggest upset in test. Well done Sri lanka.

  • abhyudayj on December 27, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    @Alexk400- south africa has struggle at this pitch since last two seasons and it seems that they are not comfortable at Durban and looking that this wil be southafrica final frontier in home condition.

  • on December 27, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Bat Fast and take some quick runs pray for No rains !!

  • on December 27, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    @Alexk400 you seemed out to be shocked to have witnessed what happened out there in the middle today as you have asked why SA chokes? Simply they just lose wickets like Zimbabwe. Well then again you merely seemed to be having the answer to your question too which I would agree with the most fundamental level by looking at it from the point of view which is from the chokes point of view. But I'm afraid because I cannot agree with you minnow part given the fact SA batting line up found it very hard to stay and score runs. That's not being said SA batting wasn't bad or tailor-cut-made pitch didn't favor SA or it's not even being said SA chokes were bowl out against minnow bowling line up like SL. But that's being said SL showed class cricket to prove all you pundit are wrong and SL can outplay SA even in SA after getting hammered so bad in the first test. Period!

  • on December 27, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    well sa cant play swing bowling at their home and u say india cant eng too struggle aus cant play swing bowling u say india struggles they all cant play spin bowling india are masters who are flat track bullies

  • Cannuck on December 27, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    I wonder where those arm chair "pundits" (Wessles incl.) who said SL had pedestrian bowling & never could get SA all out. What many "non cricketers" who comment here with "stats' as their armour does not ever understand is that anything can happen in a game of cricket. There is no clear dominant team in cricket anymore as WI and AUSIES of yesteryear did. SL is still not winners here, & statistically could lose if they crumble in their 2nd innings & SA came back in their 2nd. BUT the simple fact that SL bowlers managed to get the mighty SA for under 200 is a win for SL. I am sure there will be plenty of negative comments here soon, mostly from "some" of our neighbours with excuses like SA presented wickets to SL or the pitch helped, or even too much X-mas turkey!!! The bottom line is for a small island with less resources, rare Tours out of their FLAT pitches, plenty of political meddling, not getting paid, our LIONS still fight hard! If only they had a better environment to play!!!

  • on December 27, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    Great come back by Sri Lanka, however we must still bat and bowl properly to win this one. Take nothing for granted. Well played lads I really did not see south Africa collapsing like that.

  • BravoBravo on December 27, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    I still remember the recent headline somewhere on this website "SL NEEDS A MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS/BOXING DAY". Well here it is, from here SL have to keep their nerves, and make another 170-200 runs and win this game barring the weather as an annoying factor. Nothing against SA but GOOD LUCK SL, JUST DO IT.

  • Mino on December 27, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    I wonder what Kepler Wessels has to say now? never under estimate an opposition team!! wonder what the SL selecters have to say now for not including Thilan for the SL squad against SA!!!! Well done SL! keep up the good work!

  • davlaw on December 27, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    stop, stop, stop don't you think the talk about the lankans winning is premature, need i refresh your minds 'bout the newlands. Rain forecast for tonight a bit of moisture on the deck tomorrow plus the world's premier bowler tasted blood.

  • Amol_Gh on December 27, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Sometimes it's difficult to understand or explain the inconsistencies SA displays through this frequent inexplicable brain-dumps...in spite of the obvious talent they possess. These brain-dumps are something SA must avoid. That's something our IND is better adaptive at (I'm not trying to drag IND into something. That's just my opinion). And I think its too much now with Boucher and Prince. They need to go and make way for some other good keeper who can bat consistently and most importantly **Duminy**. PUHLEEZE !

  • on December 27, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    finally! some good cricket! we need welagedara, chandimal, maththews and perera to get their game on. afterall, they are our future! oh and kepler wessels can suck it!

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Well played LIONS..go for the kill

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Bravo!!! Fantastic Work from Lankan Lions, Keep up the good work!!!

  • satish619chandar on December 27, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    Great day for SL.. This is what you need to do in SA.. Batsman show guts and score runs and bowlers do their basics.. If u do basics rught, the pitch will do enough to reward.. Even the bad shot selection was due to the pressure created by the bowlers.. Innings of Samaraweera will be the one he ll cherish more than anything..

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    well done SL good comeback in the game hope SL will win this test match best of luck SL team ,,,,,,,,,,LONG LIVE SL nd PK

  • knan on December 27, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    For too long , SL has been getting the stick due to the batting failures and a bowling lacking penetration after Murali's and Malinga's retirements. They seem to have finally got their act together . Hope they go on to win this match and silence their detractors . Go Lankans !!

  • delimack on December 27, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    I really wonder if all comments made by Kepler Wessels before, will be taken back by him or apologize for his glaring non-knowledge of test cricket

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 27, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    SA cannot become No.1 in tests if they continue to perform poorly at home against swing bowling......

    SA are suppose to be great against pace bowling and you have them get out so cheaply against a very weak bowling unit...

  • almeda_riddle on December 27, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    Well done so far to Sri Lanka, great fight shown after the first 2 days. While I hope SA can turn it around I'm glad to see that the obituaries about Sri Lankan cricket were a bit premature.

  • mrmonty on December 27, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Kudos to the SL bowlers. They have proved many wrong (including Kepler Wessels and me).

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Hope, This conveyed very good massage to SL cricket selection committee , importance of Thilan presence in Test squad ...Still long way to go. all the very best SL Team..Time to turn it around..!!!!!

  • Alexk400 on December 27, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Why Prince in the team? Quota? Boucher has n't scored a fifty like forever in long memory..he should be gone next match along woth prince. Why SA chokes? They have best bowlers and some how lacks the killer instinct to finish off people. They relax on their laurels. Always end up 1-1 series against even minnows. Prince must go , replace with an All rounder.

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Hopefully SL gonna win this one !!!

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Hopefully SL gonna win this one !!!

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Hopefully SL gonna win this one !

  • on December 27, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Hopefully SL gonna win this one !

  • Abam on December 27, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Good job Srilanka, need to bat well i 2nd inn. Post a target of 380+,then match will be yours.

  • suli7 on December 27, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Sri has somehow managed to grab SA by neck & now all they need to do is to break that neck. they just have to bat now sensibly & knock SA completely out of the game. This is their golden chance to win first test in SA & also to break the end the drought of wins post mrali era.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on December 27, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Very proud of the way Srilanka dismantled S. Africa. Srilanka always had the batsmen, its their bowlers who never supported them, but today was an example of what happens when both their batting and bowling clicks. No doubt that Srilanka belong to the Top 5 and if they can have bowling performances similar to this, they can surely end up in the Top 3. I am also impressed with Herath, watch out for him!. All the best Srilanka, to win this match.

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    tomorrow gonna be sanga's day,, then SA will have bat atleast 1 and half day, can they do it?

  • SnowSnake on December 27, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Congatulations to SL for a great turnaround. Good performance by SA towards the end. While SL has an edge a lot of hard work still remains to be done. Tomorrow may be an important day to sway the outcome on this game.

  • danny_anthony on December 27, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    Samarveera is a quality player and he has proved it once again by scoring a fantastic century against a superb bowling attack. He has a lot to offer to Sri Lankan cricket. I hope he continues his run spree. Dilshan needs to fire as he demoralizes the opposition with his audacious stroke play. He is the key to Sri Lanka's flying start. I think captaincy is taking toll on his batting. Anyway its up to him to decide what he feels right...

  • Maduka43 on December 27, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Good bounce back of SL. Which we always believe that from Small Island Boys. Good Luck for rest of the days.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 27, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    this is embarrassing. Prince needs to go now along with Boucher, just sick of these lame collapses and sloppy soft wickets by SA. Supporting this team is like riding in a rollacoaster.This Walegedararaa guy has an average of 40 in test cricket, put him to the sword man!!!!

  • rahulcricket007 on December 27, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    I WONDER WHAT WILL BE THE TITLE OF FIRDOSE ARTICLE TODAY?????? NOW WHERE IS KEPLER WESSELS???? SMITH BE PREPARE FOR 4 TH CONSECUTIVE DEFEAT ON DURBAN . WELL DONE SL . THIS SERIES IS GOING IN A SIMILIAR WAY LIKE THE PREVOIUS YEARS IND -SA SERIES . I HOPE SL MAKE AT LEAST 250 & SET A TARGET OF 400+ FOR SA . ALSO I THINK ENGLAND IS CLEARLY SET TO REMAIN NO.1 FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME .

  • VipulPatki on December 27, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Terrific bowling! It's clear that green-tops are difficult not just for Asians but also for those who've been brought up playing on these pitches.

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka !!! Finish off year 2011 with a Triumphant victory. "Oh!! Hang on".. "Hello... Mr Kepler Wessels!!" :D

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    thats the srilankan tiger style vengeance ......... now suffer porteas !!!

  • SAcricFan on December 27, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    SA just have not been up to task in this test to date, Sri lanka has really played well though and deserves there position at the moment, Their batters have grafted and fought out every single run in the first innings, game far from over though...

  • rajithwijepura on December 27, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Hello Mr. Kepler Wessels.... I hope this is not your SA school team played today.

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    ohh.........dear experts add some comments pls.what happened to world class SA team against the worst sub cont team......leader will be the key for SL.....but again DILSHAN failed in 2nd innings.samaraweera would be good capt..if he is appointed

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Kepler Wessles...........I'm pretty glad that you were in the commentary box when SA national side was bowled out for the lowest score EVER in terms of matches played with SL..............Kepler played the wrong card by commenting on the most unpredictable team in the context of international cricket, hard luck, try next time EXPERT.......

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Saf talked too big before the match. I am a saf supporter but i'm disappointed to see they are talking too much and doing less. Absolutely no complain about the pitch but why did they prepare a turning one?

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    SA Your going downnnnnnnnnn

  • Stark62 on December 27, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Brilliant stuff from SL!

    The two big players (Mahela and Sanga) didn't click but still SL are in a very healthy position.

    Hope to see of them shine in the next innings and beat the SA's.

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Where is Mr Kepler Wessels???

    I think we as cricket lovers always need to respect the opponents and we all should know that in the game of cricket, any weaker team can come up with wins against any stronger team at any time. So when we comment we should be very careful about our words. This is a good example. Still Sri Lanka haven't win the game, but the team has already showed what they are capable of. Great work guys... Proud of you..

  • Sinhaya on December 27, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Come on Sri Lanka! Try to score over 200 in the 2nd innings and victory is guaranteed! Just wait for the lose ball when batting tomorrow as we are on track to win.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sinhaya on December 27, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Come on Sri Lanka! Try to score over 200 in the 2nd innings and victory is guaranteed! Just wait for the lose ball when batting tomorrow as we are on track to win.

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Where is Mr Kepler Wessels???

    I think we as cricket lovers always need to respect the opponents and we all should know that in the game of cricket, any weaker team can come up with wins against any stronger team at any time. So when we comment we should be very careful about our words. This is a good example. Still Sri Lanka haven't win the game, but the team has already showed what they are capable of. Great work guys... Proud of you..

  • Stark62 on December 27, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Brilliant stuff from SL!

    The two big players (Mahela and Sanga) didn't click but still SL are in a very healthy position.

    Hope to see of them shine in the next innings and beat the SA's.

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    SA Your going downnnnnnnnnn

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Saf talked too big before the match. I am a saf supporter but i'm disappointed to see they are talking too much and doing less. Absolutely no complain about the pitch but why did they prepare a turning one?

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Kepler Wessles...........I'm pretty glad that you were in the commentary box when SA national side was bowled out for the lowest score EVER in terms of matches played with SL..............Kepler played the wrong card by commenting on the most unpredictable team in the context of international cricket, hard luck, try next time EXPERT.......

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    ohh.........dear experts add some comments pls.what happened to world class SA team against the worst sub cont team......leader will be the key for SL.....but again DILSHAN failed in 2nd innings.samaraweera would be good capt..if he is appointed

  • rajithwijepura on December 27, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Hello Mr. Kepler Wessels.... I hope this is not your SA school team played today.

  • SAcricFan on December 27, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    SA just have not been up to task in this test to date, Sri lanka has really played well though and deserves there position at the moment, Their batters have grafted and fought out every single run in the first innings, game far from over though...

  • on December 27, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    thats the srilankan tiger style vengeance ......... now suffer porteas !!!