Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day

Sri Lanka strong in chase of 370

The Report by Abhishek Purohit

July 19, 2014

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Fernando: SL not looking for draw

Sri Lanka 292 (Mathews 89, Tharanga 83, Steyn 5-54) and 110 for 1 (Sangakkara 58*) need another 260 runs to beat South Africa 455 for 9 dec and 206 for 6 dec (De Villiers 51)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


AB de Villiers was aggressive against the spinners, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day, July 19, 2014
AB de Villiers made 51 off 58 © AFP
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Hashim Amla gave Sri Lanka four sessions to chase 370 and the hosts began strongly, knocking 110 off the target with Kumar Sangakkara's unbeaten fifty. Sharp turn and bounce finally made an appearance when South Africa batted, but they rode on a 163-run first-innings cushion to score at more than four an over to set up the declaration. The South African spinners were not consistent enough again to be a persistent threat, and Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva collected 96 after Dale Steyn took out Upul Tharanga.

Tharanga was eager to drive, and edged to the wicketkeeper for 14 when he attempted one. Steyn welcomed Sangakkara with a snorter that was fended awkwardly, but the batsman was in little trouble after that, just like in the first innings. He got going with two fours in an over off Vernon Philander. Imran Tahir repeatedly provided the boundary ball. He did lure Sangakkara out once, only for the batsman to escape with an inside edge past the keeper. Two balls later arrived a full toss, which Sangakkara hit for six. On a day four pitch with sizeable rough outside the left-hander's off stump, South Africa would have wanted their lone specialist spinner to not bowl frequent full tosses and long hops. JP Duminy served up long hops as well with his offspin, and it was Silva's turn to cash in.

Steyn was brought back for a late burst but Silva, who had ducked and left superbly in the first innings, survived with similar skill again.

AB de Villiers had shown expertise of his own in making a breezy fifty that made light of the difficult batting conditions. All South Africa needed to do was avoid a collapse in the second innings, and the top order ensured that. The middle order provided the push, led by de Villiers.

Some of the dismissals would not have enthused Sri Lanka's batsmen, on a ground where the highest successful chase is 95. Dean Elgar inside-edged a drive to the wicketkeeper as Rangana Herath spun one in considerably from the rough outside the left-hander's off stump. Faf du Plessis lost his off stump as Herath jagged one across his back-foot defence from the same rough.

At the other end, De Villiers made 51 off 58, using various versions of the sweep to pick up boundaries. He swept Herath against the turn, and Dilruwan Perera with the turn. He saw deep square leg nearly reach a sweep on the full, so he lapped the next ball much finer for four more. He stayed beside the line and square-drove, he stepped out to take deliveries on the full and ease them through midwicket.

Hashim Amla did all of the above barring the sweep, but he fell to his second soft and cheap dismissal of the match, when he chipped Perera to short midwicket for 22.

Elgar and Alviro Petersen had tried camping on the back foot to tackle the turn and resorted to the sweep and reverse-sweep but the spinners soon broke through. Petersen fought back as long as he lasted. He reverse-swept Perera for fours on either side of being beaten by a straighter one. All the spin had made this delivery particularly dangerous, and it claimed Petersen for 32 when he pushed inside the line and was given caught behind. In the absence of Hot Spot and Snicko, there was nothing conclusive for the third umpire to hold against Billy Bowden's decision on Petersen's review.

Du Plessis nudged the spinners around and attacked the lone fast bowler Suranga Lakmal to contribute 37. Quinton de Kock again had nervy moments against spin but prospered after a dropped caught-and-bowled chance by Herath to make a swift 36. He eventually pushed one back to the bowler Perera which led the umpires to signal tea and South Africa declared during the break.

The spinners bowled all but nine of the 50.2 overs South Africa batted as the injured Shaminda Eranga did not take the field after his batting labours in the morning. The final pair of Herath and Eranga lasted just shy of five overs, with de Villiers ending the former's resistance with a spectacular diving take at second slip off Morne Morkel.

Eranga came out to bat with eight stitches in the webbing of his right hand and had a tape securing his thumb and index finger. The fast bowler still played out an entire over from Dale Steyn, wincing in pain as a yorker thudded into his bat. He was unconquered after facing 12 deliveries, taking the right hand off the bat whenever he could while defending.

Sri Lanka may or may not need him on the final day. The longest any side has batted in Galle in the fourth innings is 114 overs.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by nimalgamage on (July 20, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

Why are we keeping faith on a awful player like Chandimal for such a long period of time. He is playing very poor shots and not thinking about the team because he will always grant his place in the squad.

1. In world t20 some fellows telling that Chandi step down from the captaincy for the team benefit. No it is not, it is team management and authorities who decide the team in that tournament and captain like him at an age of 24 cannot decide a decision like that.

2. Some telling that Chandi performance is affected because he is not batting at no 4 slot in ODI's. Then why can't he perform at test levels too. No friends individuals can't give the position they prefer. They should bat at the position what the team wants. If he can't perform on the given position give that position for a new talented player.

Mind you his 3 test centuries came against the best attack in this world so called Bangladesh in some of the batting paradise pitches.

Posted by YsaKaru on (July 20, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

hopefully both chandimal and thirimanne retire after this match... Also our selectors as well...they are killing our cricket and interest...

Posted by Lion83 on (July 20, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

Please Drop Mahela, Thirimmane & Chandimal from test side and give chances to Kusal, Kithruwn and other promising youngsters these three are becoming burden for the team now. MJ announce his retirement knowing that he his completely out of form. He should retire at SSC in the second game no point playing another two games against Pakistan. Thirimmanne 's dreadfull form continue as with Chandimal. Cant beleive what this selectors doing. This is a huge defeat for SL in their own conditions.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (July 20, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

Amla courage and positivity in making that declaration is starting to look very justified. As a South African fan its a breath of fresh air to see some determination and risk into our game. We have the players to back it up.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (July 20, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

@ Albert_cambell " If we can get his wicket earlier, then we can surely win this game" WE ??? Need I remind you that you are a Pak fan, just becoz your team has been abysmal you just pretend to support SA. LOL.

Posted by android_user on (July 20, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

100 person chance 4 south africa 2 win this match.well plane by hashem amla.

Posted by priceless1 on (July 20, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

MJ should be dropped from the side , he is not contributing for the team , he is the most inconsistent batsmen ever to play for the SL . SL has lost more matches because of him than won because of him

Posted by android_user on (July 20, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Good decision from mahela by getting retired. should have taken decision earlier. He himself prove no cricket left in him in test cricket. If thirimanne don't contribute today better you too retire from test. Am sure without sanga and mathews sri lanka can't score 200 runs in test cricket. flat bully track like Galle can't score runs mean it's like Bangladesh cricket standards. they should play as odi . they cannot draw either win or loss . If they bat as odi they will sure reach the target.

Posted by android_user on (July 20, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Good decision from mahela by getting retired. should have taken decision earlier. He himself prove no cricket left in him in test cricket. If thirimanne don't contribute today better you too retire from test. Am sure without sanga and mathews sri lanka can't score 200 runs in test cricket. flat bully track like Galle can't score runs mean it's like Bangladesh cricket standards. they should play as odi . they cannot draw either win or loss . If they bat as odi they will sure reach the target.

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