Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day July 18, 2014

Steyn five-for gives SA control

70

Play 04:35
'Tahir needs to get his control back'

Sri Lanka 283 for 9 (Mathews 89, Tharanga 83, Steyn 5-50) trail South Africa 455 for 9 dec by 172 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dale Steyn ripped through Sri Lanka with his 23rd five-wicket haul to give South Africa control of the Galle Test. Angelo Mathews fought with another rearguard effort after Headlingley last month, but Steyn had inflicted so much damage that South Africa still ended the day 172 runs in front.

The Galle pitch was still largely quiet amid sporadic bouts of activity, but that did not deter Steyn, whose pace and venom did not dip throughout his 21 overs in sapping heat and humidity. Steyn went level with Richard Hadlee and Courtney Walsh for the most five-fors by a non-Asian bowler in Asia.

Steyn bounced out Kaushal Silva in the morning and returned at the stroke of lunch to trap Mahela Jayawardene in front with a full, inswinging ripper. Even as Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne resisted, he came back again after tea with a furious spell of 5-3-8-3.

At 98 for 1, Sri Lanka seemed to be heading safely to lunch with Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga having added 59 in quick time. Sangakkara, on a record streak of seven successive fifty-plus scores, had looked in no trouble at all. Only Morne Morkel had made him hop once with a sharp bouncer, but even then Sangakkara had been able to drop his wrists and avoid harm. His response was an emphatic cover drive for four.

Rain arrived half an hour before lunch and second ball after the ten-minute break, Sangakkara went for a pull off an unremarkable short ball from Morkel, and under-edged on to the stumps for 24.

Tharanga came back to Test cricket after seven years with a stroke-filled 83, despite being in discomfort at times. Vernon Philander even grazed his off bail when Tharanga was on 35 but the bail did not come off. Tharanga was also beaten by both spinners Imran Tahir and JP Duminy.

Such deliveries were not frequent, though, and Tharanga was quick to counterattack, punching and pulling for boundaries in response, before skipping out to whip Duminy down the ground to bring up his fifty.

South Africa continued with Steyn and Tahir after lunch, but Sri Lanka saw off the fast bowler and the legspinner provided too many boundary balls to be a consistent threat.

There was, however, increasingly more assistance for spin from the rough outside the left-hander's off stump. Amla turned to Duminy and seeing Tharanga jump out early, the offspinner spun a flatter one away from the rough and had him stumped in his first over on return.

Duminy had earned himself an extended spell, and along with the quick bowlers, he tied down Mathews and Thirimanne, only 14 coming off nearly 12 overs. Mathews was 5 off 34 when he charged Duminy and his heave just cleared midwicket. Duminy started conceding a boundary every over, but Tahir showed better control in his second spell, not letting the batsmen get away.

The stand had stretched into its 29th over and was worth 54 when Steyn stepped up once more. He had beaten Thirimanne outside off previous over, and first ball of the next, had him edging a full and away moving delivery to the keeper on the drive. Dinesh Chandimal pulled one straight to short midwicket next over, and Steyn swung one in to nick Dilruwan Perera's inside edge through to Quinton de Kock in the next.

Steyn was understandably spent after this effort, and was out of the attack for the next 15 overs, in which Mathews, along with Rangana Herath, nearly repeated Headingley.

Mathews went after Morkel in the 79th over, hitting him for five fours, three of them flayed through extra cover. That brought spin from both ends, as Amla used the part-time slow left-arm of Dean Elgar along with Tahir and Duminy, none of whom could bother Mathews and Herath too much.

Even as South Africa delayed taking the second new ball, Steyn was brought back with Mathews motoring towards his hundred. It was Tahir who ended the stand on 71, when Mathews missed a slog and was bowled.

Morkel had Suranga Lakmal feathering a slog to the keeper off the last ball of the day to leave only the injured Shaminda Eranga to come out on the fourth morning.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MCC_Tie on July 18, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Nice to see the Proteas fire esp after comments on here about how "pathetic" their batting effort had been. the SA attack was disciplined and hunted well as a pack with Steyn showing why he can legitimately lay claim to being one of the top 3 quicks of all time.

    Should SA score quickly tomorrow they can leave enough time to blast Sri Lanka out on a dusty, low 5th Day pitch. Could be a cracking finish to what has already been a superb game. Both sides also playing in the spirit of the game, unlike two other sides we won't mention here.

  • Chaz_SL on July 19, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Hope the management learns a lesson with this. Keeping away the batsmen who can bat and having pedestrians included. KJP and Thisara have proven that they can dominate bowlers. They should play in tests as they can bat proficiently than many others included here. If David Warner was in Sri Lanka he would not play a single test.

  • ForeverProteas49 on July 19, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    some people are making a lot of noise about the Philander incident but not a word about the Sachithra Senanayake incident, Lets call the result of that game null and void too, fair is fair or do you only complain when facing the barrel, Of course you beat England in that game so not a word said

  • Sinhaya on July 19, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, haha yes India took 19 heavy years to register their so called first ever test win. No need to harp on Sri Lanka winning a test series away from home after 15 years. Whole world loves Sri Lanka definitely.

  • NEBOSH on July 19, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    still they did not learn about selection perera and Suraj Randive have good performance against SA but SL did not select those guy why I dont knew THIS GAME ALSO THEY WILL NOT WIN, NEVER

  • AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on July 19, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    oh god atleast india is winning at home....nearing to drawing level currently overseas though a young team....not sure what would strike SL once sanga and mahela retires ..when struggling at home when both playing...i hope SL should recover thats good for the game....

  • OttawaRocks on July 18, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    Clearly these are conditions for SA to win.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 18, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    Hahaa KAvum - funny post. True too.

  • Herath-UK on July 18, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    If SA is going to win this match the result should be made null & void in view of what has now come t light which has had significant impact on the game.

  • slazenger on July 18, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    Thirimanne and Chandimal are no match Sanga and Mahela when they enter the international level cricket. I can remember Sanga and Mahela were far better players when they first enter the test and one day formats.

  • MCC_Tie on July 18, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Nice to see the Proteas fire esp after comments on here about how "pathetic" their batting effort had been. the SA attack was disciplined and hunted well as a pack with Steyn showing why he can legitimately lay claim to being one of the top 3 quicks of all time.

    Should SA score quickly tomorrow they can leave enough time to blast Sri Lanka out on a dusty, low 5th Day pitch. Could be a cracking finish to what has already been a superb game. Both sides also playing in the spirit of the game, unlike two other sides we won't mention here.

  • Chaz_SL on July 19, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Hope the management learns a lesson with this. Keeping away the batsmen who can bat and having pedestrians included. KJP and Thisara have proven that they can dominate bowlers. They should play in tests as they can bat proficiently than many others included here. If David Warner was in Sri Lanka he would not play a single test.

  • ForeverProteas49 on July 19, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    some people are making a lot of noise about the Philander incident but not a word about the Sachithra Senanayake incident, Lets call the result of that game null and void too, fair is fair or do you only complain when facing the barrel, Of course you beat England in that game so not a word said

  • Sinhaya on July 19, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, haha yes India took 19 heavy years to register their so called first ever test win. No need to harp on Sri Lanka winning a test series away from home after 15 years. Whole world loves Sri Lanka definitely.

  • NEBOSH on July 19, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    still they did not learn about selection perera and Suraj Randive have good performance against SA but SL did not select those guy why I dont knew THIS GAME ALSO THEY WILL NOT WIN, NEVER

  • AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on July 19, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    oh god atleast india is winning at home....nearing to drawing level currently overseas though a young team....not sure what would strike SL once sanga and mahela retires ..when struggling at home when both playing...i hope SL should recover thats good for the game....

  • OttawaRocks on July 18, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    Clearly these are conditions for SA to win.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 18, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    Hahaa KAvum - funny post. True too.

  • Herath-UK on July 18, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    If SA is going to win this match the result should be made null & void in view of what has now come t light which has had significant impact on the game.

  • slazenger on July 18, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    Thirimanne and Chandimal are no match Sanga and Mahela when they enter the international level cricket. I can remember Sanga and Mahela were far better players when they first enter the test and one day formats.

  • Kavum on July 18, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    Most of the SL wickets were due to injudicious shots - ranging from the simply stupid (Kaushal, Sanga, Mathews, Thiri and Perera) to downright moronic (Tharanga, Chandi and Lakmal). Only Mahela got a ball that was probably too good to deal with. If he was only 5 years younger (or a VVS/Dravid), he would have creamed that to the boundary. With Eranga out of the contest, SA will win easily by lunch on the 5th day (if not earlier). I see SA back at no. 1 pretty soon. SL had better get some game plans together and compete. If you go down SL Lions, go down fighting not like lambs to the slaughter.

  • vkumar_086 on July 18, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    again SL young players did not perform either with bat or with ball....SL is struggling against SA in spin friendly pitch of home turf....contrastingly England- India test series become a stage for youngsters to prove...in first test--Bhuvi, Binny, Vijay, Pujara for India and Root, Robson, Ballance for England...now in 2nd test---Rahane, Bhuvi for India, Ballance for England outplayed everybody...SA is clearly on top....tomorrow SA should play at least 70 overs with 3.5 run rate and allow SL to bat....with pressure on SL batsmen, SA having very good chance to win this test...

  • Andrew-Silva on July 18, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    The need of a solid, experienced Opener was emphasized.. What I have been saying repeatedly in my postings during the past 12 months have become true in the first instance that SL authorities have ultimately decided to give a chance to 29Yr OpenerTharanga, in a Test!

    This happened after 7 Yrs of long layoff, despite his proven abilities & Skills backed with a unique ODI track record & a healthy record in domestic cricket! Tharanga has proved today that there was absolutely no reason for him to be in the cold-storage for such a long time in Tests & 12 months in ODIs.

    Tharanga had scored more centuries (SIX CENTURIES) at the age of 21 than any other batsmen in the World! Even players like Tendulkar (4), Kohli (3) Ricky Ponting, Chryis Gayle etc. were far behind. Upul is the World Record holder for building most number (SEVEN) of 200+ partnerships in ODIs! These are just a glimpse of his long list of achievements, stamped in his career record! To do well, Keep your rare assets SL.!

  • slazenger on July 18, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    I am SL fan but SA is playing good cricket here. All the respect for them and in my estimate the way they are playing cricket right now they can win the world cup in 2015. Luck also plays a part here but they are a very good team with lot of talent and their batsmen are firing as well as the bowlers. The problem with SL is their new and old both batsmen are not firing consistently. May be SL cricketers are tired and need a rest.

  • on July 18, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Steyn vs j Anderson. Steyn Mat-73, wkt-367, ave-22.84, sr-41.9, current Test 21-7-50-5 on a Flat pitch. Anderson Mat-96, wkt-363, ave-30.33, sr-58.9, current Test 23-7-60-4 on bowlers paradise.Yes Steyn is far ahead.even Philander and Morker's stike rate are beter then that of Anderson.

  • on July 18, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    steyn s a true legend ! a perfect fast bowler with just about every trick worth possessing - pace/ swing / reverse swing/ seam movement etc ..

  • JoshFromJamRock on July 18, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    While SA were never in danger of losing after taking almost two full days to make 450, their chances of winning decreased due to those two days. Bowling-wise SA is a one man attack as Morkel, Philander and Tahir were ineffective most of the innings. Steyn's greatness and legendary status were sealed years ago and he's just going through the motions of breaking records every series.

    But With:

    1) Steyn more likely injured as he was grimacing in pain.

    2) Only two days left with SA expected to bat for two sessions.

    3) Matthews likely to employ defensive tactics.

    4) and SL expected to make a 2nd innings comeback .

    This match is heading to a draw. If SA is to win, it would be very very late on Day 5.

    And why didn't Jayawardene just retire from all formats? He going to embarrass himself by being the only player with 10,000 plus Test runs to have a sub-50 average.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    @ MCC_Tie thinks there "Could be a cracking finish to what has already been a superb game. Both sides also playing in the spirit of the game, unlike two other sides we won't mention here."

    Agreed. Its great to watch these teams battle it out in the baking sun & heat all day, & not lose their cool. When they shake hands, THEY MEAN IT. They show genuine respect.

    You don't have to be one of the "big 3" to play sporting cricket in the Spirit if the Game. These teams are playing where attendance is free for the people, & that freedom is valued more than snicko or hotspot. "Two other sides we won't mention" are playing at a ground full of pomp & pageantry, where tickets are insanely expensive for the privileged few who can even get them, & where the costly snicko & hotspot are dissected by TV pundits ... BUT NOT USED BY THE TEAMS! And yet, as the recent record clearly indicates, these teams will beat either of the "two other sides ..."

    Money can't buy respect, or a winning team!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: I thought I read somewhere (possibly the preview to this game) that South Africa have to win 2-0 to reclaim no. 1 spot; did check back through the early articles, but am none-the-wiser now. So is it just a series win required then?

    Great to see Steyn back amongst the wickets. Bit of a dry patch prior to this game...

  • amuni12 on July 18, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    This shows how good is SA is. Their test cricket ranking reinforces their talents; Now, SL is struggling to avoid a defeat. Also, they are without one of their pace attack, I doubt that they can bat day and a half on the fourth inning. I think SA is going to be 1-0 on the test series.

  • on July 18, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    No one can argue that SA are easily the happier team right now. But this is Test cricket, not ODI or T20, and with two days left, plenty could happen. And so far, 2014 has been a year for tailender miracles, so Herath and Eranga may produce one...

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    @ Nisal Ranjan Fernando writes "SA has shown that they in line to kiss the 2015 World cup."

    The Proteas are, it seems, always in line to kiss the World Cup. We Saffas would dearly like them to now get to the head of the line and WIN it! But, if they don't, we will continue to support them with the same passion. (Winning would be nice though! Very nice!)

  • on July 18, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    @Nisal. Ha ha don't get ahead of yourself as we all know what happens to SA when they get to a major tournament. Plus this is a test match and not a ODI team.

  • on July 18, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    It is very sad to see no one other than Angelo Mathews after Sanga/Mahela generation failing to take full responsibility. Steyn was world class as he always was, but there were many soft dismissals. Thirimanne after getting to 30s chased a wide one. Chandimal got out to a horrible pull shot. For him this is the third consecutive time he got out (counting from Headingly test) playing a rash shot. The irony is that these two with on and off performances manage to find a place in the team. Thirimanne because he is vice captiain seems to be untouchable. Chandimal now because he has taken up the wicket keeping role. Even reliable Kaushal Silva played an adventurous shot and got out. When are these batsmen going to play an innings worthy of a test match? Extremely sad situation.

  • on July 18, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    SA has shown that they in line to kiss the 2015 World cup

  • on July 18, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    Waqar, Akram. the Steyn reminds me of the boxing movie 'when we were kings'. I consider my self lucky to have seen all three in full fury. Cricket is so much richer because of these blokes. Thanks guys!

  • social_monster09 on July 18, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Steyn you beauty with pure class in bowling. His reverse swing is just a greet to watch. He is not the greatest of all time but yes he is sure one of the greatest with McGrath, Walsh, Akram, Hadlee or Marshall. I don't know will he able to break the record of McGrath's 563 wickets haul or not but he is a gem a genius. In SA team I only love this guy & a little bit Amla other's are useless for me (only for me). In the aspect of match SL's only chance is in their bowler's hand becoz from now this is bowler's pitch & it's not easy for both teams to bat on 4th & 5th day resp. I want to watch this match for next 2 days ahead of End & Ind match. Chao..

  • starcy on July 18, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    I don't like saying it but only rain can sa from going 1-0 up on day5

  • on July 18, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    steyn is just way ahead of second best as a bowler. In style he he is similar to ryan harris - quick, skiddy, swings the ball both ways with new and old ball. Very Classy. But unlike harris he isn't injury prone and still has another 5-6 years. At minimum 4-5 years. Johnson is better at his peak compared to when steyn is at his best. Only difference is steyn is at his best much more consistently than johnson. He has to be in the list of bowling greats.

  • on July 18, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    The age old weakness of Sri Lankans against quick bowling is now showing up even on their low and slow tracks.

    @ZainE111. I too am surprised too. Shane Warne took 26 wickets in a single series in the white wash of Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in 2004. Of course, against India he had only one five for. He was treated like a change bowler by most Indian batsmen.

  • on July 18, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    @Zaine111. Warne hasn't got the greatest record in Asia (India anyway) a couple of reasons why. First is that he made his debut in 92 but never went to India till 98 and faced Sachin at his absolute peak along with a seriously good batting lineup. Warne did well in Sri Lanka with a few 5 for's but he didn't spend much time playing in Pakistan either after in 90's as they started playing away from Pakistan but he has a good record against them too. Every great player has a bogey team as Warne's was India and Sachin's was England as he has a poor record and average in England compared to elsewhere in the world.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner tells us "People, wait till the end of the SL innings and then talk about the run rate?"

    We can now talk about run rates. SL have 1 wicket left: their rate is not going to shoot up against a fresh Steyn & Co in the morning. It may go slightly up, or down!

    Overall Run Rates are: SA - 2.73 ... SL - 2.83. Sri Lanka were faster by 0.1 run per over! BUT, that is OVERALL. Let us look at the COMPARATIVE rates for overs batted.

    SL batted for 100 overs, scoring 283/9. After 100 overs, SA were 290/6. SA HAD A FASTER RUN RATE OVER THE 1ST 100 OVERS!!! The difference is SA's lower order/tail batted on. A slower run rate by the tail is expected when they score almost 200 more runs that can be the difference between winning & losing!

    The teams batted at almost exactly the same run rate. Those who yesterday harshly criticized SA's batting I am sure are fair & balanced, & will today post their equally harsh criticism of SL's batting? I am eager to see what they write!!

  • cric1965 on July 18, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Galle test matches depend on toss. Whoever bat first has advantage because day 5 pitch is difficult to bat. This is not good for test cricket. If South Africa bat second and win, it is a real win. Otherwise toss is the winner like one day series also depend on toss. If Sri Lanka bat on 3rd one day they would have won.

  • rajcan on July 18, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Mahela should retire from ODI as well, his time has come, especially he has horrible record against paced and moving balls. Most of his big scores are against spinners or in turning tracks.

    Considering his poor performance, his continuous weakness scoring against paced balls and the world cup wont be played in turning tracks, he should retire from ODI and leave another performing batsman to take his spot.

    Continue side-lining Tharanaga from ODI and persisting with Kushal is not a good choice and Tharnaga proved how good an opening batsman he is.

  • on July 18, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    The way thing are going, Steyn will end up in the top 3 once he retires. Steyn has a chance of ending as the greatest or second greatest fast bowler of all time! The commentators said that Dale Steyn has the best record in Asia for a fast bowler, after Waqar younis! This man is gold!

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 18, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Anything other than rain can't save SL from defeat. This was written all over the wall ever before the series started. SL no match for SA,home or away. Period.

  • Sinhaya on July 18, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    Good batting by Tharanga and Mathews. Wish if both got tons. Thirimanne fought hard but not enough. Please drop Chandimal with immediate effect and get Kithuruwan Vithanage in. Also, Prasad must replace Eranga who is injured. Angelo is loving captaincy as that is why his batting average is in the 90s in tests starting from the Abu Dhabi test this year.

    Brilliant bowling Steyn! You are awesome. You made the difference today indeed. Best bowler who is less than 180cm in height.

  • ZainE111 on July 18, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    I'm surprised Warne doesn't have the most five-fors in Asia for a non-Asian.

  • ForeverProteas49 on July 18, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    wow, fantastic stuff, Steyn doing it yet again with reverse swing, Lets get the last wicket and add an odd 180 - 200 and put them in after tea tomorrow, give them 360 -390 to chase

  • on July 18, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    What I enjoyed about the cricket today was when Steyn ran in at the end of the day and were still bowling close to 150km/h. I also enjoyed Mathews batting. Fighting with the tail to get closer to the proteas. I would like to see a quick fire 80 from AB and a 60 from amla. Also some one must take on herath which will not be easy if he bowls in the footmarks.

  • RichardW on July 18, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Tommytucker- there is no doubt at all. He will go down as one of the top 5 quickies of all time by the end of his career.

  • SurlyCynic on July 18, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    Great bowling from Steyn on a flat pitch. Every dismissal was different, using different tactics. Superb.

    Still think this will be a draw as Sanga will probably fire in the 2nd innings, looks like SL will just have to survive a day plus an hour or two. Would take very good bowling to get them out in this time.

  • on July 18, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Poor shot selection, unlucky sanga and chandimal. Not sure they can save the game. Why chandimal was such a hurry , some one tell him this was not a t20. Thiri got started and through his wicket . Wish they will show good resistance in second inning

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 18, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    Steyn - surely the best in his era. Any continent, any surface at anytime of the day. A great bowler in a batsmen dominated era.

  • on July 18, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    Can Sri Lanka save this one..........?

  • on July 18, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Can they do Buvi and shami.

  • Mervo on July 18, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Steyn shows the lost art of true fast bowling in SL. Well done. The place for good fast bowlers in the game has been largely lost in the region.

  • Hareendra on July 18, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Mathews should bat no 5 in all formats

  • 2nd_Slip on July 18, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Nice to see Steyn on fire. Give it to them lad!!

  • Hareendra on July 18, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    Someone please tell me what Thirimanne is doing in the test team? Why dont they play Kithruwan?

  • jimbond on July 18, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    This is why they call him the best pace bowler in the world today. Opposition doesn't matter to him, nor does the pitch. Others can battle to be the second best.

  • Yousufahmed1 on July 18, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    @ katch47 "I think all SL players have become complacent after winning the ENG tour" LOL. How can a team become complacent after winning 1 test series outside their home in 15 years. SL team is no match for SA team. Before series there were a lot of comments from self proclaimed Lions that SA will struggle. I think SL fans should be a bit humble and learn from SA fans. Yesterday when when SA were down SL fans were making ridiculous comments but unlike SL this SA team knows how to get back up. Come on SA whitewash SL and become no. 1 again. Whole world loves you.

  • siddhartha87 on July 18, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Steyn now has 76 wickets in sub continent at an strike rate of 39 in sub continent. This guy is a pure genius and probably the best of all time.

  • StrYdeRZA on July 18, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    @Blade-Runner... wait until the end of the innings to comment on run rate? That didn't seem to be the criteria when the Proteas were batting?

    It's the rudeness of those SL fans that's an issue not either team's run rate!

    ... and still not a word of apology...

  • CrICkeeet on July 18, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    And now srilankans fans r mayb enjoy their "Flat track".. (201/7 nw when um writing)

  • on July 18, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Now SL whole team is at the mercy of Mathews it will have to see, where he leaves his team but SA is in very good position at this time What a bowling has been bowled by steyn impressive.

  • katch47 on July 18, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    Pathetic display of batting by SL, their poor shot selection and ill disciplined attitude cost the match and i don't think SL bowlers will be able to take 10 SA wickets if they manage to avoid the follow on. I think all SL players have become complacent after winning the ENG tour

  • StrYdeRZA on July 18, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa... seems those roaring SL fans from yesterday are not quite the Lions they would have us believe. This match has a long way to go with any result still a possibility and I respect the battle that these teams are in. It would be nice if that minority of SL fans who were being aggressive and disrespectful would stand up and apologise. Must say this match is looking like a good test for everyone!

  • Blade-Runner on July 18, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    People, wait till the end of the SL innings and then talk about the run rate. How can you say anything about the run rate in the middle of an innings ?

  • Basil777 on July 18, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    This partnership is the last hope for SL if both of these batsman goes then I dont see SL coming back from it. As for the slow batting comments ;those individuals dont understand test cricket in my opinion ; if they want explosive batting they should watch some T20 cricket and leave the test cricket for us true cricket supporters

  • on July 18, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    If sri lanka loose another wicket early into 3rd session may as well try harder to avoid the follow on. Should that happen, SA will easily win this test.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 18, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    People making comments here saying that SA batting was too slow yesterday. Where are you now?

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Dear SLC selectors Just watch how SA bowlers deliver ball onto the chest hight of SL batsmen and how they penetrate the pitch. Was there any SL bowler threaten to SA batsmen , This really gave them an opportunity to freely collect four hundred runs in the first innings with poor fielding. Unless you find and deploy proper bowlers who could do the job to curtail so many runs ,SLC cannot expect any chance of a win over a team like SA unless something miracle happened .When you cant dance , you cant blame the ground as if its not uniform.

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Sri lanka going to loose This one....they dont have fire power to match south africa....But Cant Really Say Much anything can happen in cricket..

  • TANAmesh on July 18, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Tharanga played really well and he should be in ODI, unlucky Mahela, Sanga scored 1000 runs for this year( first and quickest) hope they will Sanga and Mahela get centuries for second innings.. All the best SL.

  • StrYdeRZA on July 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    So here we are... SL 1st innings in the 51st over the current RR is 2.88 and has been 1.6 for the last 10 overs... are SL trying to play for a draw? Can we please send them a message that we would like to be entertained and to start speeding up? Just thinking of some of you Lankan fans who were so bored and aggressive about the poor run rate when the Proteas were batting... ;-)

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    No wonder that SA is best in both bowling and batting but SL batting side is good even then which reason that they can't perform, they feel pressure on their own grounds. It is up to them what they do in next session.

  • John_Geo on July 18, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Mahela should have retired at least 2 years ago. With full respect to what he has done in the past, he is ruining it all over the last 2 years with substandard performances and depriving the chance of a new comer groomed in the SL side. Did his followers realize what a damage he is creating to this side? In a match where the opposition has amassed 450+ runs, he contributes with 3 (and that too on home soil).

    Please drop him for the remainder of the series and also for the Pakistan series and let us give him a early send-off. If something Asian cricketers lack it is their ability to decide when to announce the retirement. Sanga too should learn from this so that he announces his retirement before destroying all the good work he has done and being hated by all.

  • on July 18, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    uphill task for SL . The sooner they get out of the ODI mode the better it would be for the team to save the match.

  • on July 18, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    What Happened to PrasannaW who gave us statistics concerning the batsmen's averages

  • on July 18, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    What Happened to PrasannaW who gave us statistics concerning the batsmen's averages

  • on July 18, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    uphill task for SL . The sooner they get out of the ODI mode the better it would be for the team to save the match.

  • John_Geo on July 18, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Mahela should have retired at least 2 years ago. With full respect to what he has done in the past, he is ruining it all over the last 2 years with substandard performances and depriving the chance of a new comer groomed in the SL side. Did his followers realize what a damage he is creating to this side? In a match where the opposition has amassed 450+ runs, he contributes with 3 (and that too on home soil).

    Please drop him for the remainder of the series and also for the Pakistan series and let us give him a early send-off. If something Asian cricketers lack it is their ability to decide when to announce the retirement. Sanga too should learn from this so that he announces his retirement before destroying all the good work he has done and being hated by all.

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    No wonder that SA is best in both bowling and batting but SL batting side is good even then which reason that they can't perform, they feel pressure on their own grounds. It is up to them what they do in next session.

  • StrYdeRZA on July 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    So here we are... SL 1st innings in the 51st over the current RR is 2.88 and has been 1.6 for the last 10 overs... are SL trying to play for a draw? Can we please send them a message that we would like to be entertained and to start speeding up? Just thinking of some of you Lankan fans who were so bored and aggressive about the poor run rate when the Proteas were batting... ;-)

  • TANAmesh on July 18, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Tharanga played really well and he should be in ODI, unlucky Mahela, Sanga scored 1000 runs for this year( first and quickest) hope they will Sanga and Mahela get centuries for second innings.. All the best SL.

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Sri lanka going to loose This one....they dont have fire power to match south africa....But Cant Really Say Much anything can happen in cricket..

  • on July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Dear SLC selectors Just watch how SA bowlers deliver ball onto the chest hight of SL batsmen and how they penetrate the pitch. Was there any SL bowler threaten to SA batsmen , This really gave them an opportunity to freely collect four hundred runs in the first innings with poor fielding. Unless you find and deploy proper bowlers who could do the job to curtail so many runs ,SLC cannot expect any chance of a win over a team like SA unless something miracle happened .When you cant dance , you cant blame the ground as if its not uniform.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 18, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    People making comments here saying that SA batting was too slow yesterday. Where are you now?

  • on July 18, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    If sri lanka loose another wicket early into 3rd session may as well try harder to avoid the follow on. Should that happen, SA will easily win this test.