Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 1st day July 16, 2014

Sri Lanka hit back after Elgar century

82

South Africa 268 for 5 (Elgar 103, du Plessis 80, Lakmal 2-29) v Sri Lanka
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 02:54
Fernando: Eranga's injury a worry for SL

At 195 for 1, South Africa had made a near-perfect start to the Tests after the victorious ODI series, but Sri Lanka hit back with four wickets after tea to edge the day on a flat, dry pitch. Dean Elgar became the first South Africa opener to make a Test hundred in Sri Lanka but his dismissal in the final session kickstarted the hosts' fightback.

It had been all South Africa till then. In his first Test as captain, Hashim Amla had won the toss on a pitch expected to turn later. Elgar, in only his third Test innings as opener, and his first outside South Africa, had responded with an innings full of positivity and equally high on concentration. Faf du Plessis, batting at No. 3 for the first time in Tests, had battled his way through scoreless periods with aggressive footwork against spin. By tea, the second-wicket partnership had grown to 124. Alviro Petersen's fall against the run of play for 34 in the morning had been the only blip for the visitors. To add to Sri Lanka's worries, Shaminda Eranga had been restricted to nine overs after splitting the webbing of his right hand while fielding.

But Sri Lanka had found some promising reverse swing after lunch, and they did so again after tea. The first examination yielded no results but during the second Elgar went after a Suranga Lakmal delivery that held its line and edged it behind. A small, but significant opening had been made.

Amla was intent on driving at anything pitched up, but the timing just wasn't there. He tried to loft the tireless Rangana Herath over the off side, but only spooned a catch to wide mid-off for 11.

Du Plessis, who was eager to combat spin by advancing down the pitch, finally failed to reach the pitch of an offbreak from Dilruwan Perera and forward short leg was in business.

AB de Villiers seemed to be taking South Africa to stumps safely, despite Sri Lanka taking the second new ball, when he tried a weak, loose drive to Lakmal and found his stumps disturbed in the penultimate over. The final session had cost South Africa four wickets for 74 runs in 31 overs.

The first one had read 111 for 1 in 29 overs. Both captains were eager to bat and it soon became apparent why. There was no seam movement, barely any swing and the bounce was largely predictable as well as harmless. Elgar and Petersen did what they were required to do: they left well, defended strongly off either foot and having seen there was nothing alarming in the pitch, soon started putting the bad deliveries away. The duo put on 70 at more than four an over.

Herath came on as early as the seventh over, and finished with 37 for the day. The pitch wasn't conducing for him so early in the match. Elgar was even able to go back and late-cut him against the turn to the third-man boundary. The runs were flowing now for South Africa. By the tenth over, Angelo Mathews had brought himself on as the fourth bowler.

South Africa have had three century opening partnerships in Tests in Sri Lanka and this looked set to be the fourth one but in Perera's second over, Petersen went back to a flighted delivery and was caught in front as it came on without much turn.

Du Plessis walked in and worked himself to a steady start with a series of paddle-sweeps. He was smothered after lunch though, but finally broke free from a period where he made 6 off 45 by skipping out to loft Perera over mid-off and mid-on for consecutive fours.

Elgar was much more comfortable in the crease, playing late, allowing the ball to come on, and then committing himself with conviction. He was watching the ball so hard that even when Perera seemed to have beaten him with flight and drift, he was able to adjust and place the ball past mid-off for four. That took him to 90, and a straight six, when on 96, off the same bowler brought a long-drawn scream of a celebration.

South Africa took tea at 194 for 1, but despite being a bowler short, Sri Lanka weren't prepared to hand them a third session on the trot.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on July 16, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    This looks like a real test of patience, endurance & skill. On a pitch offering little to the bowlers. SL maintained their discipline, applying constant pressure, & were rewarded for their perseverance.

    SA's batting dominated the 1st session, only Petersen squandering the conditions by losing focus & keeping to his average. Elgar played a confident, assured & disciplined innings, but paid for a moment's loss of focus.

    The day got hotter, the ball softened & the tide turned as SL strangled the runs. du Plessis' solid play was undone by a beautifully subtle delivery, but Amla after moving himself down the order, found he could not impose, & perished. He should stay at #3! AB paid for losing focus at the day's end, but de Kock seemed unfazed, & played with the same assurance he does in ODIs.

    SL's bowlers will look to tighten the screws: de Kock & Duminy will need to take the attack to them or risk being ground down. 1st session looks to be critical in determining how the game evolves.

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    This match is turning into a great test match as it seems. Both the teams are being tested here in many different levels. Sri Lanka are already down to 10 players and Lakmal will have to lead the pace attack alone for the rest of the match. Anyway, Its very important for Sri Lanka to get the 3 remaining wickets for 20-30 runs. I'm eagerly waiting to see another masterclass innings from masterclass Mahela and a big partnership with big mate Sanga against their favorite opponents. :P

    @MelbourneMiracle ; C'mon dude. AB n Amla are truly world class. They are loved n respected by everyone. Its not very Sri Lankan to abuse Saffers, specially those two.

  • Rawanaa on July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    some pundits predicted over 500 mammoth total. now what ? Good come back by Srilanka. good spells from lakmal & hope steyn & thahir will be a huge threat.. if we can dominate the 3rd & 4th days with batting with a 150+ lead can be demolished SA lineup with spin friendly wicket.. hope herath & dilruwan will enjoy the wicket on 5th day.

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    @MelbourneMiracle glorified ODI bullies. That's why they're at the top of the test rankings. Amla had had 1 innings as test captain so it's too early to say it's affecting his batting, and you obviously don't watch SA cricket enough to know that AB knows how to bat in tests, that's why he's top of the rankings

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    It looks maybe SA couldn't make 400r but Duminy has stood on the Crees any thing happens.

  • MelbourneMiracle on July 17, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    So we saw how the two so-called great batsmen got out v.cheaply. Those 2 are nothing more than glorified ODI bullies. Amla's facial expressions and body language clearly showed how much the captaincy pressure has effected his batting already. AB should learn that Test batting is different from ODI batting. Anyway they will learn what is test batting when Sanga, Mahela and Mathews come on to bat.

  • Hareendra on July 17, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Thirimanne should not have played here. He a an awful series in England. He now averages a paltry 26 with the bat. Why not play Kithruwan who averages 69 and is younger than Thirimanne?

  • on July 17, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    pathefic defensive selection,herath peformence are going down(pak series,england series,).we haven't got attacking spinners.tharidu kaushal shoud have played,

  • NaaIstam on July 17, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    If SL hosts 2-3 series against Bangladesh/Zimbabwe in an year each and get them all out for 80/90 in each test innings, no wonder the runs per wicket is going to be less.

  • Slboom on July 17, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Good to see Lakmal is performing well, good job by Vass. But I don't know why they consider Nuwan Pradeep ahead of left arm baller Chanaka welagedara. he has speed and his fitness is far better.

  • Greatest_Game on July 16, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    This looks like a real test of patience, endurance & skill. On a pitch offering little to the bowlers. SL maintained their discipline, applying constant pressure, & were rewarded for their perseverance.

    SA's batting dominated the 1st session, only Petersen squandering the conditions by losing focus & keeping to his average. Elgar played a confident, assured & disciplined innings, but paid for a moment's loss of focus.

    The day got hotter, the ball softened & the tide turned as SL strangled the runs. du Plessis' solid play was undone by a beautifully subtle delivery, but Amla after moving himself down the order, found he could not impose, & perished. He should stay at #3! AB paid for losing focus at the day's end, but de Kock seemed unfazed, & played with the same assurance he does in ODIs.

    SL's bowlers will look to tighten the screws: de Kock & Duminy will need to take the attack to them or risk being ground down. 1st session looks to be critical in determining how the game evolves.

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    This match is turning into a great test match as it seems. Both the teams are being tested here in many different levels. Sri Lanka are already down to 10 players and Lakmal will have to lead the pace attack alone for the rest of the match. Anyway, Its very important for Sri Lanka to get the 3 remaining wickets for 20-30 runs. I'm eagerly waiting to see another masterclass innings from masterclass Mahela and a big partnership with big mate Sanga against their favorite opponents. :P

    @MelbourneMiracle ; C'mon dude. AB n Amla are truly world class. They are loved n respected by everyone. Its not very Sri Lankan to abuse Saffers, specially those two.

  • Rawanaa on July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    some pundits predicted over 500 mammoth total. now what ? Good come back by Srilanka. good spells from lakmal & hope steyn & thahir will be a huge threat.. if we can dominate the 3rd & 4th days with batting with a 150+ lead can be demolished SA lineup with spin friendly wicket.. hope herath & dilruwan will enjoy the wicket on 5th day.

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    @MelbourneMiracle glorified ODI bullies. That's why they're at the top of the test rankings. Amla had had 1 innings as test captain so it's too early to say it's affecting his batting, and you obviously don't watch SA cricket enough to know that AB knows how to bat in tests, that's why he's top of the rankings

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    It looks maybe SA couldn't make 400r but Duminy has stood on the Crees any thing happens.

  • MelbourneMiracle on July 17, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    So we saw how the two so-called great batsmen got out v.cheaply. Those 2 are nothing more than glorified ODI bullies. Amla's facial expressions and body language clearly showed how much the captaincy pressure has effected his batting already. AB should learn that Test batting is different from ODI batting. Anyway they will learn what is test batting when Sanga, Mahela and Mathews come on to bat.

  • Hareendra on July 17, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Thirimanne should not have played here. He a an awful series in England. He now averages a paltry 26 with the bat. Why not play Kithruwan who averages 69 and is younger than Thirimanne?

  • on July 17, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    pathefic defensive selection,herath peformence are going down(pak series,england series,).we haven't got attacking spinners.tharidu kaushal shoud have played,

  • NaaIstam on July 17, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    If SL hosts 2-3 series against Bangladesh/Zimbabwe in an year each and get them all out for 80/90 in each test innings, no wonder the runs per wicket is going to be less.

  • Slboom on July 17, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Good to see Lakmal is performing well, good job by Vass. But I don't know why they consider Nuwan Pradeep ahead of left arm baller Chanaka welagedara. he has speed and his fitness is far better.

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on July 17, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    SL could have gone with one more bowler in expense of Lahiru Thirimanne.

  • mysecretme on July 17, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    There is no sense is moving Faf from a position he was so comfortable in. This move also displaced Amla from his best spot. Saffers be crazy I guess.

  • on July 17, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    First day's play looks evenly balanced although SA still have another specialist batsman Duminy to follow. It's a pity that SL goes into test matches with only 4 specialist bowlers as Mathews hardly bowls even with Eranga injured he contributed only 2 overs in the entire 90 overs for the day. Let's hope SL can prevent a leather hunt today and bowl out SA in the first two sessions if possible. Match is interestingly poised and a result looks likely unless the pitch gets more placid.

  • nickexplore on July 17, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Without hotspot or snicko it is almost impossible to tell if a batsman has nicked the ball. Such was the case on Day 1 when ABdV was given out caught at bat-pad off Dilruwan. The Sri Lankans all went up in unison convinced that AB had hit it, and the umpire agreed, only for the decision to be overturned on review after countless inconclusive replays. Hotspot and snicko give the third umpire incontrovertible evidence as to whether the batsman has hit it or not, and should be in place for all international matches. Without these technologies it is in the batsman's interest to review all edges and bat-pads, whereas the hawkeye tracker tells its own story and is the sole arbiter of all LBW reviews, in place for this series.

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on July 17, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    What ever the Ranks says I believe currently South Africa is the best team in both ODI and Test formats. Only Australia or Sri Lanka can give them a good fight.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 17, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    Expecting philandar to go for his shots, as one of the SSC colombo express highway... 500/10 expected frm SA

  • on July 17, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    Why is Amla not batting at 3? His great humility and respect for other players to achieve is going to deny himself from doing well. The scorecard just didn't look right with him at 4.

  • INDSlider on July 16, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Galle is not definitely a flat dead wicket as we find in India. See below for top flat grounds based on runs scored per wicket in tests in SC.

    Punjab C.A. Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh - India 38.45;Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong - Bangladesh 37.96;Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka - Bangladesh 37.96;Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai - India 36.07;Green Park, Kanpur - India 35.95;Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo - Sri Lanka 35.90 http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;host=25;host=6;host=7;host=8; orderby=team_average;qualmin1=10;qualval1=matches;template=results ;type=aggregate;view=ground

  • Rowayton on July 16, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    I am open minded about whether nightwatchmen are a good idea or not, but why in the world would you put in a nightwatchman who didn't even have to face a single ball? A bizarre decision from Mr Amla.

  • INDSlider on July 16, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    To me Galle is a good sporting wicket. See below for the flattest wickets in Asia based on the % drawn test matches.

    Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai - India 0.61; Green Park, Kanpur - India 0.57; Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore - Pakistan 0.55; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad - Pakistan 0.54; Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad - India 0.50; Eden Gardens, Kolkata - India 0.48; Punjab C.A. Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh - India 0.45; Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi - India 0.43; National Stadium, Karachi - Pakistan 0.43; Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka -Bangladesh 0.41;

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;host=25;host=6;host=7;host=8;orderby=percentage_drawn; qualmin1=10;qualval1=matches;template=results;type=aggregate;view=ground#

  • on July 16, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    When I read early comments about SL non of them give any chance to SL. Usually any wicket first day good for batting. SA take that advantage and pile reasonable score before tea. But wicket give chances to bowlers after tea and scoring rate went down resulted wickets fall. In general SL bowlers done well. It will be interesting to see both team trying to get advantage second day morning. Match is equally poised at this stage. Good luck both teams.

  • on July 16, 2014, 23:11 GMT

    Must agree with other people here, surely Amla must remain at 3. nothing against Faf, but I don't see why you would move Amla when he is so settled at 3.

  • Chris_P on July 16, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    The pitch seems to be a sporting one so far, let's see both teams bat and bowl on it before claiming honours so early. I am still unsure why Steyn was sent out as a nightwatchman & didn't face any balls? A few overs to go maybe, but to come out to the non striker's end for the last over? With Duminy to come out @ #8, there is still plenty of work for both sides. Good to watch a decent contest on a better pitch that has been served up recently at other venues.

  • NaaIstam on July 16, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    SL pitches have always been tailormade ones for batting records and any wicket from fast bowler is generally a miracle. I don't say that the bowlers did not bowl well but the wickets in the last session was just careless batting from the SA batsmen.

  • ZainE111 on July 16, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    Yes, SL are ahead after day 1. Yes, SA's batting order is a bit weird. But this test is far from over. It looks like reverse swing will play a role (I believe SA has a decent exponent of reverse swing) and spin will definitely play a role so if Amla has enough runs to play with he can give Tahir a good run when SA take the field.

    I'd say this test is evenly poised at the moment. Any result is possible.

  • on July 16, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    Sri lanka ahead at the moment.. Hope they could get the wickets of QDK and JPD early in the morning..and blast the SA innings.. Good work by lions.. Will be tough for SA..will c.. Gd luck SL..

  • SLMaster on July 16, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    What is this complain about the pitch.

    Indian fans are here :-) Compare to pitch IND vs ENG recent flat track, SL pitch is way better. There is something for batsmen and bowlers. If the reverse swing is possible then what is the problem.

  • on July 16, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    amla u play ur no3 plzz. one of d greatest Indian origin player. love u

  • on July 16, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    competativ tracks must b prepared for test cricket. otherwise it won't b good

  • siddhartha87 on July 16, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    after his momentous record at no 3,not sure why Amla is batting at no 4

  • vkumar_086 on July 16, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Both teams played well....it was really flat deck, just like Trentbridge test pitch....considering the conditions, morning session is very important for both teams, especially SA...if the team able to score around 400 runs...it will be a difficult for SL batsmen to face in form fast bowlers of SA...

  • on July 16, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Faf hs nt nly won games but has taken africa out of troubles mr thn 5 to 6 times , he is a star n he is not playing fr stats , plz remember his knocks against australia , india and newzland

  • nickexplore on July 16, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    Super comeback from Sri Lanka. Suranga Lakmal bowled superbly, shouldering the fast bowling duties in Eranga's injury absence - hitting the line of off stump and just outside consistently - and going for under two an over. With no hotspot or snicko available to the 3rd umpire for the series, it was not unexpected that ABdVs  bat-pad decision off Dilruwan was overturned. For Lakmal to skittle him at the end of the day, fine reward for a hard day's bowling, that leaves the honours even after day 1.

  • BellCurve on July 16, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    QdK has a great chance to cement his place in the team tomorrow. If he gets going it could be big.

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 16, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    SA ahead. Had AB or Du stayed it would have been a one way traffic. I see 400+.

  • dunger.bob on July 16, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    265/5 sounds about even, maybe slightly in favour of the bowling side. If it had been 320/5, I'd go the other way round and say it was the batsmens day. I notice that Steyn's at the crease. Is he really a #7 or is it a night watchman situation.

    Considering they were a bowler down with the hand injury, SL hung in there pretty well. It was looking pretty dire at one stage with SA about 170/1 and looking super strong. To peg them back, with the key wicket of AB in the bag on the stroke of stumps, would probably feel pretty good for SL. SA on the other hand might feel they threw it away a bit. Losing wickets at the end of the day is never good but at least they've got these runs on the board. 350 should be do-able from there.

  • Kotuwegogoda on July 16, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    Well done Srilanka to get five good wickets. If Angelo's men can wrap up the innings before lunch would be the best. Hope Eranga would be able to bowl later on.

  • Kavum on July 16, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Ok Eranga likely out for the series and SA will pounce on the fact that SL are a bowler short on the second day and in the third innnings (if necessary). Guess Nuwan Pradeep is also out so Dhammika Prasad will get a chance at the SSC in the second test. SA still marginally ahead with JP (far too good to come in at 7) and QDK batting. Only Tahir is a genuine tailender since all the others know which end of the bat to hold unlike SL's nos. 9 to 11. Congrats to SL for getting the big two cheaply even though ABDV's wicket was due to a lapse on his part rather than brilliant bowling - Lakmal was no more than steady and disciplined. I would say SA lead SL 52% to 48% on the day.

  • on July 16, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    SL should have played Prasad; if Eranga is deemed unavailable, SL will have only one seamer. Not to mention that Prasad took a match winning 5 wicket haul against England in the last game that he played.

  • on July 16, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka..Taking 5 wickets on first day at Galle is an achievement

  • Ms.Cricket on July 16, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Amla dropping himself to no 4 in this first Test as captain - not very inspiring!

  • Herath-UK on July 16, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Good come back by the Lankans & specially Lakmal stands out. Players should be rule savvy & not running out AB in spite of catching was poor showing by that short leg. He should have known bat pad catches are always questionable & missing a running out opportunity was disappointing.

  • amu2 on July 16, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Jeewaka9999- if you read the article carefully you would not miss why Eranga did not bowl more than 9 overs. Read the 2nd paragraph before blaming the captain

  • HennopsRiverEnd on July 16, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Advantage SL end of day1. Young de Kock and JP will have to guts it out tomorrow.

  • FighterKallis on July 16, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    lankan fans always get overexcited. Quinny and Duminy can take saffas past 500. Wait for smoking gun steyn to fire. Galle will be no more a pleasure to herath ,Jaya or the lankans

  • on July 16, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    spinners had 2 bowl 60 overs due 2 shaminda's injury

  • yohandf1984 on July 16, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    @ JEEWAKA9999 - Eranga only bowled 9 overs to injured webbing . He is with stitches now . Being a spin friendly pitch you d expect spinners to bowl bulk of overs . but they had to do over time work due to unfit Eranga .

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Agree with fellow posters, SA batting line up doesnt make sense. Surely someone of ABs quality is batting too low at 5. Plus in a recent interview, he said he would love to bat 3 in all formats.

    Surely you adhere to your best players requests and bat him at 3 instead of 5. Faff can bat 5.

  • Proteas_Supporter on July 16, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Well played Elgar but SA squandered the momentum. Maybe Faf is not a #3 material? He is more suited at #5 I reckon. With the kind of start the openers gave, Amla would've taken the game away from the Lankans had he batted at 3. Hope QDK presses on tomorrow along with JP. Lot of work to do for SA!!!

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 16, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    can't agree with the way Mathews handle the bowlers in this inning so far.. Herath 36 overs out of 91 overs.. but Shaminda only 9 overs... if mathews relies mainly on spinners on this tract (63 overs / 91 overs) It is no ponit of selecting 2 bowlers instead of 3 spinners.

  • Hareendra on July 16, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    I really dont understand this batting lineup by the South Africans. They have changed the batting order of so many, just to incorporate Faf. Why not let Amla bat at no 3, where he's scored so many of his runs? Then have AB coming at no 4 (now that he's not keeping wicket) and Faf at no 5? Simple. Why do they complicate matters so much?

  • gimme-a-greentop on July 16, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    @fiddlerv90..I am also a big fan of AB, but your comment that Amla and Faf only play for stats is slightly ludicrous. These two have shown application and guts to bat out tough periods, which they do for their TEAM. If you think Amla has never played a match-winning knock I suggest you watch more cricket. (granted Faf seems to have made a name as a match saver).

  • on July 16, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Well done SL bowlers, they took main wkts which players play huge innings now SA will make score around 400r.

  • on July 16, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Hey lions , Great job at the end if the day...Finish off your remaining duties tomorrow guyz. :-)

  • Nuwas on July 16, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    I hope the commentators down here now are eating their own words at leisure,lol . People are so quick to jump into conclusions these days.

  • on July 16, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1; You are spot on with your prediction. LOL I remember your predictions in the T20 wc too

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Sri Lankas day overall. SA guilty of being loose and some soft dismissals out there but Lankans bowled really well in the last session.

    376 runs is the average first innings score on this ground and SA are well behind that now. SA will do well to get to 350. Now the fear is that Sanga and Mehela bat and Lankans get 650 !!!

  • Cricketlover54 on July 16, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    YousufAhmed. Innings defeat? Haha, Sri Lanka's quicks removed half of the SA team in a complete road in the first day, the pacemen are doing incredibly wel

  • Mervo on July 16, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    I can't believe that Herath has had to bowl 32 overs! That is amazing. Is there no other bowler there?

  • fiddlerv90 on July 16, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    I always bet my all on AB time and again. He always put his stats and rankings aside and plays for the team. Amla, faf & jp plays for stats and that's why when AB looses his wicket every south African looses hope. Faf averages above 55 and so is Amla, but both hardly play a winning knock. De kock can do better at no.3 instead of faf. Hope AB can pull us out of this misery!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    As I write this Amla has just thrown his wicket away. Track still looks very good for batting. Looking forward to watching young De Kock bat.

  • on July 16, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    SA has made good start,what SL bowlers doing they should take couple wkts in this session.

  • on July 16, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    another toss lost on a another flat track..well it surely looks grim for our team....SA looks as if they will score 1000 runs losing only one wicket...anyway good team selection except for the inclusion of the walking wicket thirimanne who is bound to fail here too..

  • MeTalHeD69 on July 16, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa It would be ideal to have a pitch that can offer something for batting and fielding sides, but people would complain far more with score cards of 100/5. This is excluding corporate interests which would like to see a test match to day 5. So they seem to err on the side of creating a batting friendly pitch instead of risking giving too much to the bowling team. A team able to occupy the crease for a while will almost guarantee the game heading to the 5th day. Also, aside from a batter friendly pitch being seen as a good pitch, pitches tend to deteriorate and become harder to bat on. To make it even slightly challenging from day one might mean lower scores and a shorter match because it will deteriorate faster over the next few days. I don't know if there are many pitches that hold together and offer a balanced experience over 5 days. It's hard enough getting a limited overs pitch balanced, with or without corporate influence and viewers wanting to see sixes every ball.

  • on July 16, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    im still worried about Morkel though , hes been off form for the past 2 years and i dont expect any magic from him on this test series ... we need another fast bowler as his back up else everyone deserves to be there

  • on July 16, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Yet another highway in SL. South Africa will hit 600. The Sri Lankans too will hit 600 , everyone will boost their averages and go home happy. After even a rusty Shane Warne , returning after a 1 year ban, rolled them over with 26 wickets in 2004, on wickets that the Lankans had prepared for Murali, they are also vary of preparing dust bowls, for they know that their own batting line up may fold up. The 3-0 whitewash inflicted by the Aussies , that too at home, has had a deep impact on how pitches are prepared in Sri Lanka.

  • kbza86 on July 16, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    I have to say..I was worried what type of team we'd field in the sub continent with biff and kallis gone..but after these sessions, the team looks stronger and stronger. ...I think this is the team to move us forward and back to the top...The bowling at is also awesome as always...morne dale immi jp verny and beware of Elgar's bowling aswell...

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    I just dont agree with pitches like this. I think its unfair for the team bowling first. There is nothing there for the Sri Lankan quicks so they have to resort to spin on Day 1 and of course its not turning that much yet.

    Why not have a track that offers something for quicks in the first 2 days and then starts to turn. Best of both worlds. No one whats to see 650/7 declared. It kills Test cricket. Its still very early days and SA might be bowled out for 250 but I am just saying on the first day of a Test match, one of the most exciting thing is watching fast bowlers work their magic and cause problems....

  • on July 16, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    Current situation telling that SL will bear follow onn, SA will put the massive total 550 then they have quality bowling, sorry SL you are in deep trouble now,

  • Yousufahmed1 on July 16, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    Elgar would be hoping to take this SL highway with him. LOL. What an innings. Hoping for a 200 from him and 150 from FAF and then a quick fire 100 from ABD. I predict a innings thrashing for SL team.

  • Mike_Tyson on July 16, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    SL really are a very poor team.

  • stormer1980 on July 16, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Elgar batting like he wants the opening position for a long time !!!

    Well done

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    Pitch looks like a total Road. Thanks goodness we won the toss.

  • missionbegins2011 on July 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    SL team looks really weak....i see a imminent whitewash by SA in this test series

  • katch47 on July 16, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Looks like SA youngsters did some flat track homework...with a 500+ competitive total on board SA could definitely put SL under pressure. Two front line spinners instead of one could have given some advantage to SL (Ajantha Mendis). Everythin now depends on how well SL bat against Steyn, Tahir and Morkel

  • ITJOBSUCKS on July 16, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    As expected the deck is really FLAT like most SL pitches are...I hope this doesn't end with a draw!!!

  • starcy on July 16, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Great start saffas now lets hope sl's bowlers can settle down

  • on July 16, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    I think in this test match SA looking more stong team as compare to SL, SL just have only one out class bowler which is Herath, on the other hand SA has wel equiped with quality bowlers and batsman, Best of luck for SA, it is urs test match

  • on July 16, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    upul tharanga is back in the side that is good this is sri lankas best test team i think SA very good, balanced, strong team good luck srilanka waiting to celibrate test series victory against this strong SA team

  • Charindra on July 16, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    I agree, a bit harsh on Prasad. And I'm still not convinced about Dilruwan. But obviously the selectors have seen him a lot more than I have and maybe they see promise. The problem SL has is the lack of a part time spinner in the top 7. They really miss a Dilshan or a Sanath Jayasuriya there...

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 16, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    This South Africa 11 is looking very good /solid ,hopefully it is winning combination ....good luck SA ......

  • YsaKaru on July 16, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    mathews always unlucky with toss... Bit harsh for prasad.but agree with this XI...

  • YsaKaru on July 16, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    mathews always unlucky with toss... Bit harsh for prasad.but agree with this XI...

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 16, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    This South Africa 11 is looking very good /solid ,hopefully it is winning combination ....good luck SA ......

  • Charindra on July 16, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    I agree, a bit harsh on Prasad. And I'm still not convinced about Dilruwan. But obviously the selectors have seen him a lot more than I have and maybe they see promise. The problem SL has is the lack of a part time spinner in the top 7. They really miss a Dilshan or a Sanath Jayasuriya there...

  • on July 16, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    upul tharanga is back in the side that is good this is sri lankas best test team i think SA very good, balanced, strong team good luck srilanka waiting to celibrate test series victory against this strong SA team

  • on July 16, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    I think in this test match SA looking more stong team as compare to SL, SL just have only one out class bowler which is Herath, on the other hand SA has wel equiped with quality bowlers and batsman, Best of luck for SA, it is urs test match

  • starcy on July 16, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Great start saffas now lets hope sl's bowlers can settle down

  • ITJOBSUCKS on July 16, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    As expected the deck is really FLAT like most SL pitches are...I hope this doesn't end with a draw!!!

  • katch47 on July 16, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Looks like SA youngsters did some flat track homework...with a 500+ competitive total on board SA could definitely put SL under pressure. Two front line spinners instead of one could have given some advantage to SL (Ajantha Mendis). Everythin now depends on how well SL bat against Steyn, Tahir and Morkel

  • missionbegins2011 on July 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    SL team looks really weak....i see a imminent whitewash by SA in this test series

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 16, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    Pitch looks like a total Road. Thanks goodness we won the toss.