Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day July 17, 2014

Duminy century leads SA to 455

77

Sri Lanka 30 for 0 trail South Africa 455 for 9 dec (Elgar 103, Duminy 100*) by 425 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 03:10
Fernando: Sri Lanka will have to score 600 to win

JP Duminy swept and reverse-swept South Africa to their second-highest total in Sri Lanka as the hosts toiled for little reward on a largely docile pitch. Coming in at No. 8, Duminy made his fourth Test hundred and his first in Asia. He added 75 for the eighth wicket with Vernon Philander and 66 for the ninth with Morne Morkel after Quinton de Kock's maiden Test fifty had taken the visitors past 300 in the morning. Morkel fell right after Duminy reached his century, bringing the declaration from Hashim Amla in the 167th over.

South Africa knew how crucial the first innings could be on a dry surface which was spouting puffs of dust on occasion as deliveries pitched. They weren't causing too many alarms after pitching, though, and South Africa were patient enough to not give their wickets away, unlike what they had done the first evening. At no point was there any attempt to replace that patience with aggression - the run-rates of the last four partnerships were 2.52, 2.57, 2.5 and 2.4.

With only three frontline bowlers after Shaminda Eranga's hand injury, Sri Lanka tried hard to make run-scoring as difficult as they could. They slowed South Africa's progress, but could not stop it. They allowed just 63 runs in 30 overs in the morning session for the wickets of de Kock and Dale Steyn. It was hard work under a hot sun as the pitch refused to yield more than the odd glimmer of turn and bounce, and South Africa took 83 off 28 overs in the second session for the loss of Philander.

One of the few deliveries that did spin and kick claimed de Kock soon after his fifty. Dilruwan Perera tossed up one outside the left-hander's leg stump, from where it kicked across to take the edge through to slip to give Mahela Jayawardene his 198th catch. Before that, de Kock had prospered with a mix of uncertainty, fortune and positive strokes.

Suranga Lakmal, called upon to deliver 33 overs in the heat without Eranga, found de Kock's outside edge twice in his opening spell. Both times, the ball went between second slip and gully. Unruffled, de Kock was quick to pounce on the occasional wide ones from Perera.

De Kock's ability to play spin was a talking point coming into this game and he had his nervy moments against Perera, who found biting turn when he slowed it up. De Kock soldiered on with a few leading and inside edges till Perera produced the lifter just after drinks.

Lakmal had yorked Steyn well before that happened, tricking the nightwatchman with the full one after a couple of short balls. Still, Steyn managed to hang around for over half an hour in the morning, not allowing Sri Lanka to break through with a still-new ball.

Rangana Herath was brought on after drinks and immediately spun one past Philander's outside edge. Philander took 25 deliveries to get off the mark as he and Duminy were tied down before lunch.

Duminy, who came into the game with an average of 13 in Asia, took the lead right after the break, hitting a few boundaries to finally get the partnership going. Lakmal was driven through the covers and down the ground, while Herath was reverse-swept for four. Using the sweep liberally, Duminy kept the runs coming, while also playing with the fields as Sri Lanka were forced to keep a man at deep point even for the left-arm spinner. A sweep for two off Perera gave Duminy his fifty, and the same stroke off the same bowler for a single would bring up his hundred.

Philander eventually grew enough confidence to step out and loft Herath for four, but was caught in front by Mathews for 27.

Morkel and Duminy, who was put down on 82, then stretched the innings and Sri Lanka's labours by another 27.3 overs. Duminy felt the need to protect Morkel only against Lakmal initially, and the No. 10 batsman played the others out with reasonable comfort. In time, Morkel hooked Lakmal for a top-edged four, and lofted Herath twice for boundaries.

Sri Lanka took the third new ball as soon as it was available and it ended their misery immediately, but left their tired batsmen an examination against Steyn and co for a burst of 12 overs. Steyn nearly hit Kaushal Silva's head with a brutal lifter first ball but the opener did well to duck, and left superbly thereafter, only Morkel's extra bounce troubling him somewhat. Upul Tharanga punched his first ball in Tests since 2007 for four, and played a few more catchy cover drives, but was also pinged on the helmet as he ducked into a Philander short delivery which did not rise much. Sri Lanka came through the mini-session without damage.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kotuwegogoda on July 18, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Proteas had the advantage of batting first but they took almost two days to get 455. Wonder if this killed the result of the match or gained upper hand. Nonetheless, if Lanka can play positive and accumulate runs session by session a total in excess of 450 is possible. Now it is up to the batsmen to prove their worth and be counted. Not to expect tailenders to salvage and then lose another frontline bowler.

    Galle has historically provided results and Srilanka and Mahela liked the venue. Trust this will be the case and put Lanka one up. On the other hand, Proteas are fighting to regain # 1 spot in Test cricket it won't be a walk in the park. Expect a tough battle next few days!

  • dunger.bob on July 17, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    South Africa have built themselves a good strong platform to take this game by the scruff. It's always nice to know you've got enough runs on the board to maybe, possibly, only have to bat the once. As far as the run-rate is concerned, it's too early to say whether it's going to have an impact or not. If SL fold up like a deckchair then it's of no consequence. If SL bat long themselves at roughly the same rate it's still of no consequence because a draw will result. If SL do moderately well and give up a lead of 100 or so, it could very well mean the difference between a win and a draw for SA.

    BTW, does anyone know if a drawn series is good enough for SA to get the #1 ranking back?

  • katch47 on July 18, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Sri Lankan batting lineup is collapsing like a house of cards. Not only Steyn and morkel even Duminy the part timer takes a wicket. In comparison with SA's batting display I'd say it was brainless execution of shots made the difference between both sides

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    what a delivery from dale. so sweet.

  • wanatawu on July 18, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Sri Lanka's two big fishes are out, now to move into the tail.

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Now that Sanga (Hard Luck) and Mahela are gone and Dale Steyn getting the ball to reverse . A score of 300 will also be hard to get . i think South africa are well placed to get the SL team allout today !! if they do so They might as well win the game

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Oooh MJ come on.. U must not dance like Michael Jackson...

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Now raining... Holy climate here at SL.. Galle was almost warm and sunny in the morning..now raining...cant believe that..

  • Kavum on July 18, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Why was Tharanga left out for so long? We all know that he and Dilshan enjoyed batting together on the same pitch. It is such a pity that Dilshan had to bat with so many other opening partners when he and Upul Tharanga had such a commonality of approach and viewpoint. Tharanga is proving his class as more than just a one-day basher. He is proving that he is good for the long haul. Pity that Dilly had to retire 'cos they could have formed a close and productive partnership, scoring a tsunami of runs to engulf the opposition. Kaushal had a apoplectic moment in swatting at Steyn's short ball a la Chandimal, but hope he is able to come good in the next few matches.

  • on July 18, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Even if SA claim number after this series ( which they should do) Australia only need to draw their series against Pakistan to reclaim it and then Aussies at home to India which should be swept aside easily.

  • Kotuwegogoda on July 18, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Proteas had the advantage of batting first but they took almost two days to get 455. Wonder if this killed the result of the match or gained upper hand. Nonetheless, if Lanka can play positive and accumulate runs session by session a total in excess of 450 is possible. Now it is up to the batsmen to prove their worth and be counted. Not to expect tailenders to salvage and then lose another frontline bowler.

    Galle has historically provided results and Srilanka and Mahela liked the venue. Trust this will be the case and put Lanka one up. On the other hand, Proteas are fighting to regain # 1 spot in Test cricket it won't be a walk in the park. Expect a tough battle next few days!

  • dunger.bob on July 17, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    South Africa have built themselves a good strong platform to take this game by the scruff. It's always nice to know you've got enough runs on the board to maybe, possibly, only have to bat the once. As far as the run-rate is concerned, it's too early to say whether it's going to have an impact or not. If SL fold up like a deckchair then it's of no consequence. If SL bat long themselves at roughly the same rate it's still of no consequence because a draw will result. If SL do moderately well and give up a lead of 100 or so, it could very well mean the difference between a win and a draw for SA.

    BTW, does anyone know if a drawn series is good enough for SA to get the #1 ranking back?

  • katch47 on July 18, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Sri Lankan batting lineup is collapsing like a house of cards. Not only Steyn and morkel even Duminy the part timer takes a wicket. In comparison with SA's batting display I'd say it was brainless execution of shots made the difference between both sides

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    what a delivery from dale. so sweet.

  • wanatawu on July 18, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Sri Lanka's two big fishes are out, now to move into the tail.

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Now that Sanga (Hard Luck) and Mahela are gone and Dale Steyn getting the ball to reverse . A score of 300 will also be hard to get . i think South africa are well placed to get the SL team allout today !! if they do so They might as well win the game

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Oooh MJ come on.. U must not dance like Michael Jackson...

  • on July 18, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Now raining... Holy climate here at SL.. Galle was almost warm and sunny in the morning..now raining...cant believe that..

  • Kavum on July 18, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Why was Tharanga left out for so long? We all know that he and Dilshan enjoyed batting together on the same pitch. It is such a pity that Dilshan had to bat with so many other opening partners when he and Upul Tharanga had such a commonality of approach and viewpoint. Tharanga is proving his class as more than just a one-day basher. He is proving that he is good for the long haul. Pity that Dilly had to retire 'cos they could have formed a close and productive partnership, scoring a tsunami of runs to engulf the opposition. Kaushal had a apoplectic moment in swatting at Steyn's short ball a la Chandimal, but hope he is able to come good in the next few matches.

  • on July 18, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Even if SA claim number after this series ( which they should do) Australia only need to draw their series against Pakistan to reclaim it and then Aussies at home to India which should be swept aside easily.

  • on July 18, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    This message is for the SL selectors. Silva is a bad choice, to include in the team and definitely a disaster as an opener, for the following reasons: He is a negative influence, to be very slow and shaky as an opener. He can not play bouncers, cause he is short. His rate of scoring is in the 40-50 range. I will certainly opt Karunaratne more than Silva.

  • katch47 on July 18, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    one down already SL? So much for the young talents. Exposing Sanga into the middle and force him to do the usual burden carrying stuff? when will you people ever learn?

  • srikanths on July 18, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    If law of averages holds good, Sangakkara shud fail but Sanga has been in one of those law defying form of his life. Great streak , very creditable when one considers that he is almost 37. Usually , have seen there is sudden decline after 38, could Sanga be an exception ? We saw that with SRT,Dravid ,and more recently Kallis. Thye trick is to bowl a few full pitched or yorkers. Let us see how Steyn & co cope with Sanga. If SA wants to win, they have to get him out

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    This test is killing me. Where I live, play starts a half hour after midnight, and of course ends around the time my wife wants me to make coffee and breakfast, you know, because I'm already up ……

    Sleep? What's that?

  • Nuwas on July 18, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    Its the first one & half hours of each day until day 5th whoever gonna bat has to be worried about, after that it won't be that hard to bat on this pitch. Day 5 in Galle is a SpinMine :D So I'm confident with SL batting until lunch on day 4th at a rate over 4rpo. SA pacers will definitely struggle after first two hours of each day with this intense heat for sure, if SL batters are to be smart enough they would raise the tempo up as day progress & may be a rate of 4.5 would even be possible. Having said it all, I would be more concerned about JP than Thahir on this pitch.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    @ R_U_4_REAL_NICK. I was under the impression that SA need only a 1-0 result to regain the top spot.

  • on July 18, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    Crucial day ahead for the Sri Lankan batsmen. They will have to show total concentration and application against a varied South African bowling attack.SL will have to last the 90 overs if they are to make a match of this game. Let's hope that openers, Sanga, Mahela & the rest of the batsmen show their prowess to avert a possible disaster.

  • on July 18, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    Forget about the run rate, SA scored 450 + on a Asian pitch which is very good. some times the Asian teams find it hard to score 450+ in fast pitches. No wander SA is in 1 or 2 in test rankings.

  • Mervo on July 17, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    JP is great on slow wickets. Faster wickets against fast bowlers, he hardly ever reaches double figures. Perfect for this tour.

  • djdrastic on July 17, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    @siri12345

    Care to tell us how many test series Sri Lanka have managed to win in South Africa post 94 with their exciting/attacking style of cricket ?

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 17, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Wow, amazed by some of these lame comments about slow SA batting. Its a tough pitch and SL bowled very well, strangling with their spinners. The Bottom line is that SA have 450 runs on the board in Sri Lanka (tough place to tour) and can now attack. Its Test cricket, not T20, got watch an IPL game if you are bored.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 17, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    South Africa have to win 2-0 to reclaim #1 spot. They've certainly started well enough for that...

  • SLMaster on July 17, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    I do not blame SA for slow rate as it is a difficult batting pitch. It get more difficult as towards the end. If SL pose a good total SA could even loose the match. This is not a flat track...it is a spin landmine.

  • siri12345 on July 17, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    honestly really poor stuff from sa considering we were without eranga.one main bowler injured on this type of wicket and rather than trying to take away the game from the opposition if u bat at 2.9 something per over its really indicative who has already started playing for a draw .no wonder its a surprise considering they have hardly won a series in sl for 20 yrs .so why not draw the series first should be the main criterion ???

  • Kinguru007. on July 17, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Still long way to go for the Lankans. 400 plus deficit is a lot. They have to bat all day tomorrow and bat well to get near 300 run mark. At the moment the Africans ahead of Sri lanka. If Lankans can bat until tea day 4 they might reach 500 mark. But still a long way to go to get their.

  • on July 17, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    The run rate was perfectly acceptable. SA built a platform to win, but not lose the match. That's Test Cricket, Proper Cricket, and it's wonderful.

  • JoshFromJamRock on July 17, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    I've read all the comments, for and against SA's run rate, but in all honesty given all the factors in the match, SA didn't need to scrap their way after reaching 350. Given their bowling attack is both quality and confident, SA could have even declared at 350 after 4 sessions. 450 is always a good 1st innings total but with three days left a draw is a lot more likely than a SA win. Three innings will have to be squeezed within those days as SA will have to bat again whether or not the follow-on is overhauled in order to give their bowling adequate rest. Nevertheless, I don't see Sri Lanka folding cheaply with Sanga and Matthews in great form. A slow 400 from SL is enough to secure a draw.

  • BellCurve on July 17, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game - Yes, he is averaging 37 and yes, that is not good enough for an opener. Even more concerning is that it is now more than 18 months since he scored a century. During that time he has played 11 Test matches, 18 Test innings, and averaged 25.34. That certainly is not good enough for inclusion in any position. Moreover, he is not getting any younger. It's time for him to make way.

  • on July 17, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    Surprised with Herath's performance.Normally the Galle Track is a Spitting Cobra which favours spin from the word Go.

  • MCC_Tie on July 17, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    @Brett Maes: Nail on the head fella.

  • social_monster09 on July 17, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    @dunger.bob- no only series win will bring proteas back to No. 1 spot in test rankings. But it's not so easy for SA to beat SL in SL. But as an Aussie fan I want this series will settled in a draw. Both series are going neck to neck ENG vs IND & SL vs SA.

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 17, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    This what was expected. SA is always gonna score 400+ no matter which team they play. Home or abroad. SA can't lose this test match.

  • on July 17, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Duminy's ton gave good position to proteas in 1st innings total, now bowlers turn what they do.

  • MCC_Tie on July 17, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    @Appu Dasa: You call a 450 score in the first Test of a series "pathetic batting"? The point is that this ISN'T a 20/20 game. There are 3 full days of play left and SA has one of the best attacks in the world. I would say they have played superbly.

    @Greatest_Game: Hear, hear! The South Africans play for their country, the same as any other International side.

    @Jamie Moneghan: Awfully confident for a side 420 odd behind, aren't we?

  • on July 17, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    @Appu Dasa... what would your definition of a good batting performance in test cricket, for first innings? 4/5/6 an over. Is it better to get 450 @ 2.7, or 225 @ 5.4? In my mind, I would say 225 is pathetic, not 450. First innings is about getting runs on the board. That is why a test match is 5 days, so that if you are patient, and graft hard for your runs, you give yourself the chance to win.

  • ZainE111 on July 17, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    @11_Warrior - Duminy is a batting all rounder - ie he is more of a batsman than a bowler. His job as a spinner is that of containment. With the retirement of Smith and Kallis, South Africa are still busy working out what their optimum batting order should be.

    Duminy's batting position would probably end up at 6 once the team has settled on a long-term batting order. He batted at 8 this time because Steyn came in as nightwatchman and QdK came in at 6.

  • Herath-UK on July 17, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    I SA may regret its low run rate & if Sri Lanka bat for well for two days it will be SA who will be struggling on a 5th pitch. Sri Lanka have been there before & know how to make a match of it specially in Galla.

  • kalpanapanditha on July 17, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Brilliant innings from JP. Tharanga and Kaushal need to play first season without losing their wickets and this series will help Tharanga cement his place in the team. Dimuth is a quality player, I'm sure he will come back in time.

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    @ BellCurve points out that "Pressure is builiding for Alviro. He got 34. Not good enough. The guys fighting him for a place in the team got 103, 100*, 81 and 51."

    Unsurprisingly, Alviro played to his average - 37! He should either be tried out down the order, or not play. He is not a successful opener - that much is clear.

  • Proteas_Supporter on July 17, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Well played JP. Excellent inns. Little disappointed with SA's scoring rate in this inns. 2.75 on a flat track is below par. Scoring at 3 - 3.25 on this track against Herath & Perera is not a daunting task.

    Interesting day's play awaiting us tomorrow! Will Steyn find some reverse swing or is it going to be Sanga-Mahela show?

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    @ Appu Dasa, seems confused, & asks again "For whom are South Africans playing? If it was only for themselves then they should have said so."

    Again. THE SOUTH AFRICANS ARE PLAYING FOR SOUTH AFRICA! They are not playing for Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, or for the West Indies. Some South Africans play for New Zealand and for England, BUT NOT THESE ONES! These South Africans play ONLY for South Africa. I hope that is now clear, and that I have not confused you, as you seem very confused about this.

    Who else should, would, or could the South Africans play for but South Africa?? Similarly, no one questions that the Sri Lankans are playing for Sri Lanka. They do not have to "say so" because everybody somehow seems to know this. If a player represents a country, they play FOR THAT COUNTRY.

    International cricketers do not play for the ICC, for television stations, for advertisers, for TV viewers, or for the Pope. They play for their country. That is it!

  • yohandf1984 on July 17, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    Disappointing day for hosts , i must say . we expected to bundle them below 400 at least . But Cock , Duminy and rest played stubborn cricket to post 455 . Credit to SA batters as they played our spinners in an organized manner .Not to be forgotten that SL was a bowler short yet spinners were not penetrative enough . Only good sign is that SL were unscathed at the close . But a hard day of work ahead againest tail-up SA bowlers .

  • on July 17, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Tharanga looking good.hope He makes a big score

  • on July 17, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    I dont Think Sri lanka Batsman will even be able to manage a 350 score on this pitch .. Given the Reverse swing South african bowlers are going to get !! I think the match is well in South africa's Favour as 450 is mountain of a total ! There is no way they are losing the match from this position it will be interesting to see Dale Steyn with the reversing ball tomorrow :)

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 17, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    @Appu Dasa Sril Lanka run rate is equally low, if not lower I believe.... Any further comments?

  • vishwa1111 on July 17, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    Few more things to clarify.....SA played well, but if it is a belter of a batting track why their run rate is under 3....They should be 100 runs short.....Rangana need a better partner to take wickets...A genuine offy like Randiv or Tharindu.....And I saw philander sledge tharanga..When SA bat SL were never sledged....Philander should remember that...If they awake lion they will have to pay...He can give a call and ask it from joe root.....Congratz to jp for his 100

  • ZainE111 on July 17, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    I'm surprised at many of the comments regarding SA's intent (or lack thereof). Do the guys making these comments believe it is easy to make runs of Herath and Perera bowling in SL conditions? Surely not? I think T20 may have warped some people's expectations of what test cricket is all about.

    South Africa have brought the match to a point where a SA win is much more likely than a SL win. I'd say well done to them. Mind you, with guys like Sanga and Mahela, a SL win is still possible - I think we are in for three days of proper test cricket!

  • BellCurve on July 17, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Pressure is builiding for Alviro. He got 34. Not good enough. The guys fighting him for a place in the team got 103, 100*, 81 and 51.

  • 11_Warrior on July 17, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    What is the correct batting position for Duminy? is it no 8?

  • YsaKaru on July 17, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    tharanga played well today.....hopefully he'll continue it...... GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!!!

  • sarangsrk on July 17, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    After Dekock's wicket, Last 2 wickets for SA added 141 runs in 58 overs. what happened to SL bowling attack at home? nullified by good batting by SA or just poor bowling. Either way, non-penetrative bowling.

  • on July 17, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    all this talk of run rate by sri lanka couch cricketers. The wicket was not easy to score fast on as it is getting slower and sri lanka also defended with sweepers on the off and legside. The spinners bowled well and SA had to bat slower to protect their wickets. Nothing wrong with playing winning test cricket.

    It seems as if the couch cricketers expect SA to role over and surrender. Its not happening. Lets see how fast sri lanka bat to match SA and put SA under pressure. Sri lanka should also get better fast bowlers. Club bowlers in SA are better than this.

  • on July 17, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    @Greatest_game well said, Proteas came to win not to entertain or please someone, it's the fairplay and win that count.

  • on July 17, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    Greatest_Game There was talk of T 20 game or for that matter ODI. On a pitch that nether support spin or fast bowling, the so called greatest batting machine came grinding to a halt, a miserable RR of 2.72. For whom are South Africans playing? If it was only for themselves then they should have said so. pathetic batting by them.

  • Sanjiyan on July 17, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    @ All the people complaining about SA's run rate, imagine you have the best paceman in the world..combine with what is arguably the best pace attack in the world at your disposal. Now imagine unleashing that attack on a team thats been baking in the field for 2 days...you see where im going? SA bat long to tire their opponents and then let hell break loose. Its not rocket science...theyve been doing this for quite a while now and it has, 95% of the time worked brilliantly for them. They can accelerate if they need to in the 2nd innings...it wont be the first time they score @ 4 runs an over in the second innings...

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner commented "May be (SA) just don't believe in winning a Test in Sri Lanka. Just saying…."

    SA definitely believe in winning tests in Sri Lanka. SA like winning tests in Sri Lanka - they is how SA won a SERIES in Sri Lanka.

    And having declared, South Africa's intent to win this match is abundantly clear, is it not?

    To win a test match, a team must take 20 wickets - the bowlers must be able to do their job. If SL were intent on winning this test, surely they would prepare a pitch that aided their bowlers in taking wickets? Just saying ….

  • on July 17, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    hmmm...pretty lame looking test match,,losing interest in this..

  • wanatawu on July 17, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Brilliant to see JP getting a century batting at no.8

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    @ Appu Dasa writes if SA "are playing cricket for their own narrow parochial interests and with no idea for spectators and TV audience, then they must say so."

    SA are playing to win. If you consider winning a "narrow parochial interest," you clearly do not understand test cricket.

    This is not a T20, there are no cheerleaders, no fireworks & no DJ playing tacky tunes. This form of cricket evolved long before television was invented. It did not evolve with the interests of a TV audience as the goal. The game is also not being played for your entertainment.

    However, if the pitch had a little life, & offered a little more to the bowlers - spin or pace - you would probably have been more entertained. SA did not prepare the pitch to suit their "narrow parochial interests," did they?

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    437 runs in 160 overs. That's just pathetic. Are they trying to kill the match here or what ? I think this is a very negative approach by South Africa. The dot ball percentage is 77.7. May be they just don't believe in winning a Test in Sri Lanka. Just saying....

  • on July 17, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    i thought Amla will declair after tea, 400 is still not good enough then. hope He

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    @Greatest_Game ; Excuses for what ??? I just mentioned what I observed. There is no much of turn here so far. So, you can't go on to claim that SA batsmen have mastered the art of playing spin. And just look at the run rate. Its 2.7. lol Sri Lanka have done pretty well to keep it tight even after losing our main strike bowler. That's all I said.

  • on July 17, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    SL humiliated at home

  • on July 17, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    One thing has to be said here about south Africa. Despite their all big talk, this is one of the most insipid performance by them perhaps in the last 21 years since readmission. Really pathetic, and no wonder people are losing interest. If they are playing cricket for their own narrow parochial interests and with no idea for spectators and TV audience, then they must say so.

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    @ Jamie Moneghan. Yes - it was that supposition that SA ALWAYS struggle in Sri Lanka that we heard again and again before the series. Did not hear it that much after SA won the ODI series tho!

    It is early in the game. One third of the way through, & SA are by no means dominating. But are they struggling to adjust? I think they have done ok so far.

    I'm not judging the pitch, or anything else, till both sides have batted. But at over 400, SA I would have to say don't seem to be "struggling" like we were told they would be!

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner commented "@ Greatest_Game ; The pitch hasn't offered anything for the spinners so far."

    Excuses already? We are only through 5 sessions - 10 more to go - and you are already offering excuses? It does seem that you adapt to conditions a lot quicker than these slow Saffas!

  • YsaKaru on July 17, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    is SA playing for draw?????

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 17, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Dear Lankan fans, is 450 enough on this wicket or is it easily achievable???

  • on July 17, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    SA that want score they achieve more Now SL batsmen would have under pressure what come may, they have to perform.

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game ; The pitch hasn't offered anything for the spinners so far. And Sri Lanka have their main strike bowler due to an injury. So, Sri Lanka have done extremely well to keep it very tight. One would wonder if SA are playing for a draw here by looking at their run rate though. 400 runs / 145 overs.

  • on July 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    herath is good bowler ,but look at his recent performence, 2014-pak- hit around the park without much trouble,2014-ENgland last test-mahela ayawardhana bowled attackingly than him in the latter part of the match,

  • on July 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    @Greatest_Game. Still very very early in the game as even if SA make 400 or a little more , SL can quite easily make over 500 in their own conditions and put pressure on SA second innings. All if's mind you , but I don't know why people were thinking SA were going to struggle anyway as SL spinners hardly turn the ball and they don't exactly have a bowler beyond medium pace compared to SA arsenal of quicks.

  • Mervo on July 17, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Are there no other bowlers besides Herath and Perera? That have bowled almost all the overs between them? How boring. I thought that they had some new quick bowlers.

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    The average first-innings total in Galle is 376. As I write SA are 389-8 - Philander having just fallen - so I guess they are at least just above average, and creeping towards good at around 2.8 per over. But, they have also slowly ground away at a tiring Sri Lanka, who will have a lot of ground to cover to stay in the game. Not bad for a team that "always struggles to adapt to conditions in Sri Lanka," and can neither play nor bowl spin!

  • raj1223 on July 17, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    @Posted by on (July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT) Its not enough time now to judge Heraths work. Galle pitch works since 4-5 days for spinners. then we can Herath go down or up!

  • on July 17, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    wow great work by SL ! If we can take last 3 wickets just after lunch we can have a hope for a win

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    herath performence is going down, we have't got a attacking spinners,tharidu should have played thise match.we can't achive much from defensive selection even he go for the runs he can get wickets.

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    herath performence is going down, we have't got a attacking spinners,tharidu should have played thise match.we can't achive much from defensive selection even he go for the runs he can get wickets.

  • on July 17, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    wow great work by SL ! If we can take last 3 wickets just after lunch we can have a hope for a win

  • raj1223 on July 17, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    @Posted by on (July 17, 2014, 6:59 GMT) Its not enough time now to judge Heraths work. Galle pitch works since 4-5 days for spinners. then we can Herath go down or up!

  • Greatest_Game on July 17, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    The average first-innings total in Galle is 376. As I write SA are 389-8 - Philander having just fallen - so I guess they are at least just above average, and creeping towards good at around 2.8 per over. But, they have also slowly ground away at a tiring Sri Lanka, who will have a lot of ground to cover to stay in the game. Not bad for a team that "always struggles to adapt to conditions in Sri Lanka," and can neither play nor bowl spin!

  • Mervo on July 17, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Are there no other bowlers besides Herath and Perera? That have bowled almost all the overs between them? How boring. I thought that they had some new quick bowlers.

  • on July 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    @Greatest_Game. Still very very early in the game as even if SA make 400 or a little more , SL can quite easily make over 500 in their own conditions and put pressure on SA second innings. All if's mind you , but I don't know why people were thinking SA were going to struggle anyway as SL spinners hardly turn the ball and they don't exactly have a bowler beyond medium pace compared to SA arsenal of quicks.

  • on July 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    herath is good bowler ,but look at his recent performence, 2014-pak- hit around the park without much trouble,2014-ENgland last test-mahela ayawardhana bowled attackingly than him in the latter part of the match,

  • Blade-Runner on July 17, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game ; The pitch hasn't offered anything for the spinners so far. And Sri Lanka have their main strike bowler due to an injury. So, Sri Lanka have done extremely well to keep it very tight. One would wonder if SA are playing for a draw here by looking at their run rate though. 400 runs / 145 overs.

  • on July 17, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    SA that want score they achieve more Now SL batsmen would have under pressure what come may, they have to perform.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 17, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Dear Lankan fans, is 450 enough on this wicket or is it easily achievable???