Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day July 19, 2014

Sri Lanka strong in chase of 370

98

Play 05:44
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

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chechong0114 on July 19, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    This is how test cricket should be played, for a result. Great move by Amla to declare and give Sri Lanka enough time to chase down the total. This is what exciting test cricket is and in my personal opinion makes the game very interesting and appealing to the fans all round. Test cricket is played for too long over 5 days for it to end in a draw, this is something that if carefully looked into and implemented could see much more fan interest. The game must end in a winner and a loser. Graeme Smith as captain played the same way in his tenure and South Africa cricket are a very exciting outfit in all levels especially at test cricket. This is what test cricket needs to implement a must win system.

  • nimalgamage on July 20, 2014, 7:17 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.

  • YsaKaru on July 20, 2014, 6:48 GMT

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

  • Lion83 on July 20, 2014, 6:33 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.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 20, 2014, 6:22 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.

  • Yousufahmed1 on July 20, 2014, 6:06 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.

  • on July 20, 2014, 6:03 GMT

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

  • priceless1 on July 20, 2014, 5:53 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

  • on July 20, 2014, 5:44 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.

  • on July 20, 2014, 5:44 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.

  • chechong0114 on July 19, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    This is how test cricket should be played, for a result. Great move by Amla to declare and give Sri Lanka enough time to chase down the total. This is what exciting test cricket is and in my personal opinion makes the game very interesting and appealing to the fans all round. Test cricket is played for too long over 5 days for it to end in a draw, this is something that if carefully looked into and implemented could see much more fan interest. The game must end in a winner and a loser. Graeme Smith as captain played the same way in his tenure and South Africa cricket are a very exciting outfit in all levels especially at test cricket. This is what test cricket needs to implement a must win system.

  • nimalgamage on July 20, 2014, 7:17 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.

  • YsaKaru on July 20, 2014, 6:48 GMT

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

  • Lion83 on July 20, 2014, 6:33 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.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 20, 2014, 6:22 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.

  • Yousufahmed1 on July 20, 2014, 6:06 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.

  • on July 20, 2014, 6:03 GMT

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

  • priceless1 on July 20, 2014, 5:53 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

  • on July 20, 2014, 5:44 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.

  • on July 20, 2014, 5:44 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.

  • on July 20, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Sri Lanaka has a mammoth task to reach ,but there is some hope as well with the batting of good batsmen-Jagath Fernando .Wennappuwa

  • Desihungama on July 20, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    What did South Africa do here? I am not sure who Amla is trying to impress that he is as aggressive a captain as Smith was. Good on SL to chase it down.

  • on July 20, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    Even though I am Amla's great fan - I think it was just a reckless decision. He should have taken a safe decision by batting at least 15 to 20 overs aggressively after tea. You just can NOT just be safe enough when your opponent is Sanga-Mahela-Angelo!

  • Albert_cambell on July 20, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    Amlas decision was correct. Its not easy to chase 370 on a 5th day wicket. Only batsman who can bat longer and guide Sl to victory in this condition is Sangakkara. If we can get his wicket earlier, then we can surely win this game. Hope Tahir comes good on tomorrow. He will be crucial for us on this wicket.

  • on July 20, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Still long way to go for SL but I pray for SL victory. SL has to win this specially in our own backyard and win given on a plate by smart declaration. Mahela,Thiri,Chandi,Mathews,Herath & Dilruwan please manup.

  • on July 20, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    It's all about positive cricket. Firstly Amla dicided to put Sri Lanka on for forth inning and then SL positively trying to chase out. Since it was forth day it's ok to try. But today I guess SL will bat with cautious and if few quick wickets they will back to saving mode. however either side wins its really inserting.

  • on July 20, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    If Sri Lanka win the Test, will Amla be appreciated for being courageous or criticized for not taking safety first approach?

  • mondotv on July 20, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Great declaration by Amla - sorry to those who think otherwise but Smith was a safety first captain. It's refreshing to see international captains like Amla and Clarke prepared to take a risk to win.

    I haven't seen his field placements yet but this declaration is a change in policy for SA cricket and augers well for the long term.

    With SA's bowling line up they should win although he lack of a quality spinner is their only concern. Still Steyn and Philander (how's he still on the park?) on a 5th day Galle pitch will be a handful..

  • on July 20, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    extremely interesting for Amla to declare but, quite courageous. Sanga, Maela & Angelo are the obvious threats but this is a game of glorious uncertainties.

  • EnjY_Cricket_not_averages on July 20, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    260 runs to score ,9 wickets to take. Difference of opinions: If SA wins- Ha ha.. mediocre SL's luck ran out. Well-deserved victory for the Proteas, brave captaincy by Amla, outstanding Steyn. Draw- Negative cricket by SL, Yet another boring test match in this Galle dust bowl. If SL wins- Flat track bullies won it thanks to Amla's early declaration.

  • on July 19, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Bravo Amla, sporting decision makes this game interesting. I love sanga but looks like game is in SA favor...hoping for the thrilling end

  • on July 19, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    Is this the much-vaunted new SA positivity? A foolhardy declaration.

  • on July 19, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    Herath UK, Your analysis and comment is great, on the spot! Declaration is now considered a sporting gesture.... May be to pay back for the well exposed ill practice of wrongful ball handling by well recognized honored SA team mates. Sanga and Mahela with the young bubbly youngsters in the SL team will reach their dream goal for sure. I am always optimistic of the SL team and the miracle match is on from 0945am on Sunday! One more sunrise, Boys...show your talent to the rest of the world.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 19, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    SL slightly ahead.Key will be Sanga.But there are likes of Mahela,Angelo waiting in wings.Though a 5th day pitch,SAs only hope is Morkel.Steyn is unlikely to effect a sudden 'reversal' as 1st inng.Spinners esp Tahir is expensive.Pilander-better less said.

  • slackers11 on July 19, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    in the history of the game, brave decisions have always yielded in positive results, so I believe SA will eventually win this game, though SL is in a strong position at present.

  • on July 19, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    Firmly believe that SL can win this test at Galle. Most recently Galle pitch showed slowing down on the 5 the day even though it turn allowing batsman to adjust and play. At the same time I expect big score from Mahela who used to score heavily at Galle and specially when ever it is very critical. Anyway it is going to be his last at Galle. (Lunch time score SL 180/ 2 Sanga and Mahela at the crease.)

  • on July 19, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    Sri Lanka do get involved in some pretty exciting Test matches, don't they? First, the Test matches in England and now this. Great advertisement for Test cricket indeed.

    Sri Lanka have started the chase decently but South Africa still have the upper hand as one wicket can change everything as we have an unstable middle-order. One thing Sri Lanka have to do is NOT play stupid shots like they did in the first innings and gift their wickets. This target can be reached if we play with patience - slow and steady wins the race!

    An awesome last day is awaiting us! Hope both teams play within the rules and in the right spirit (as we know, Proteas have been in the news for the wrong reasons).

    Good luck!

  • kc69 on July 19, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    I am not sure why everyone is putting SL in winning position.SA still hold the edge because they just need to get the wicket of Sanga.Rest will be history.

  • on July 19, 2014, 21:12 GMT

    This has been a poor decision by Amla.. Sanagakara is a real threat and i can recall easily that even Mahela used to be an outstanding during such situations.. to me Lanka wining chances are 70% and 30% for SA... Amla should had waited little more may be when lead crossed by 400 that would be good number on board.. lets see how it goes in final day.. Sanga 100 is on the way..

  • Zetta on July 19, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    I couldn't watch the ODI series, but the first test so far is quite entertaining. South Africa are still on top, but it's a funny game this one. If Sri Lanka have the wickets in hand, then 90 overs is plenty. Solid start to the chase and it's forming to be yet another very exciting test with Sri Lanka involved. But still, I think that SA are on top. Also, Test cricket is appealing enough for the people that love the game. So as ODIs and T20s. As always - greetings from Bulgaria and let's watch some good stuff tomorrow ~

  • Herath-UK on July 19, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    Fans talk of Amla's sporting declaration but I think he clearly underestimated Lanka's batting with his now 'famous' bowling unit.He thought Steyn can reproduce his 'magic' shown in the first innings but now everything in the public glare,Steyn may not have such generous support.

  • on July 19, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Amla should be congratulated for his declaration, which gives his team a 80% chance of winning while tempting Sri Lankans to go for the outside chance. This is test cricket at its finest.

  • on July 19, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    This will be a real test.But Sri Lanka is in a strong position to take this win

  • kovinbuddi on July 19, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    Finally it turned out to be a fantastic last day.Usually in 5 day test cricket final day is always interesting than any other form of the game. South Africa is a fantastic team.Very nice and friendly guys.Who ever wins it is ok, they have spirit of the sportsmanship.

  • samincolumbia on July 19, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    I think Amla just shot himself in the foot... SL might win despite their ordinary bowling not being able to take 20 SA wickets on a dubious pitch!

  • Herath-UK on July 19, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Sri Lankan team has laid the foundation already & I do not think Steyn will be a threat as he was in the first innings for reasons published.

  • on July 19, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    one wicket suddenly plenty can come still there will be time for a new ball ,and does the pitch hold on or it will misbehave proteas its still a long way for sri lanka

  • Kavum on July 19, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Brave decision by Amla and the SA team. Some use brave as a polite synonym for foolhardy but I think this is a calculated and a positive decision by a skipper who has confidence in his attack. If Morkel, little Phil or the spinners can back Steyn up, SL are going to find it a very tough 90 overs tomorrow (20 July). Angelo has been playing so well, the law of averages dictates that he is due a failure. Mahela, Thiri and Chandi are inconsistent and/or out of form, so little reliance can be placed on them. If they come good, then so much the better for SL. As the game stands, SA must be favoured to win, but we hope for an absorbing day of competitive sport. Who says test cricket is boring?

  • SLSup on July 19, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    Average runs PER TEST in SL is 1012 (which makes SL possessing the 6th most batting friendly conditions in the world). This is over the last 20 years. Current Test has produced 953 in 11 sessions upto Tea on 4th Day at approx 87 runs per session (at approx 3 runs per over). This makes Amla's declaration a sporting one making cricket and cricketing fans the winners. Hats off to him. BUT... it is also true SL is down a batter requiring to score nearly 93 runs PER SESSION for 4 consecutive sessions. So, it is not entirely a foolish declaration as SOME paint it to be.

  • on July 19, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    it was a fantastic decision by amla. winning or loosing is just a part of cricket. tom would be one of d greatest day for test cricket. sanga and Mathews is key for SL. styen is key for sa

  • SL_Wolverine on July 19, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka has better opportunity to win the match. but No any team ever recoded 300+ runs in 4th innings Galle.

  • Kotuwegogoda on July 19, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    Match is evenly poised. For Srilanka it is safety first and take session by session. 90 overs is a full day and concentration and execution are two components that go hand in glove.

    Hope Kumar and Kushal carry the good work from where they left off. In the process runs will come. The cardinal rule is don't gift your wicket away rather SA bowlers earn it in the hardest way.

    Someone suggested SA to declare at 370 within 100 odd overs as Lanka has never chased successfully more than 95. That is now history

  • sujithM on July 19, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    sri lanka team is looking good. i think this might be a record breaking run chase!!

  • on July 19, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    I am sure we Sri Lankans are very impressed and pleased with the SA cricketers with their overall attitude towards the game and the opposition. This is very much evident since we just came from England where we all know the atmosphere under which we were made to play. Hats off to Hashim Amla and the boys. Amla, a truely modest cricketer deserves full praise for leading his team in a very professional manner ( I saw Elgar brushing dust off Silva's shirt when he fell down, which was unthinkable with most other teams). Look at Steyn, the best speedster in the world, who would not unnecessarily try to engage the opposing batters. The banter is minimum and both teams seem to respect each other. This match could might end with either a win fo SA or SL (most likely a win for SA). However, it would be cricket and sensible and respectable cricket that would be the ultimate winner. Thanks to both teams for the way they behaved. This is the spirit of cricket and not refraining from mankading.

  • SL_rockz on July 19, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    This was a very brave decision indeed ... Amla you deserve a salute dude.. Hats off for SA team for making this match an interesting match rather than a draw. This is why SA are on top i believe. They attack and play with positive mind as always.. So as the basic laws of nature suggests they get the rewards..More risks More rewards.. Lets see what will happen tomorrow. I am not too stupid to judge SL win or SA win now. It depends on who wins the morning session. If SL does they have a huge chance of upsetting SA. :)

  • on July 19, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    Don't take anything for granted and go for the win ! Bat carefully do not loose wicket you have enough time . It's draw the match then loosing. Middle order is the key good luck for both teams.

  • 2nd_Slip on July 19, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Brave declaration by Amla and a good reply by Sri Lanka nicely poised for the final day!

  • on July 19, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    It will be the exiting last day. Sri lanla looking 2 win the match. Congr...sl

  • on July 19, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    Mahela & Sangakkara combination is a long waiting for Lankan fans, may be tomorrow is the day.

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Good to see a new captain making an aggressive declaration, instead of playing safe.

  • Charith99 on July 19, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    win or lose Amla deserves credit, he made this match interesting for the watching public. test cricket needs more aggresive captains like him. eventhough i m a lankan fan i hope amla dont lose this match.

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Amla has taken big risk to do interesting match and SL has made positive start, Sanga is main wkt for SL so tomorrow SA should take this wkt first.

  • Herath-UK on July 19, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    I don't see seven years in wilderness has made Tharanga any more mature getting out in the second over of the fourth innings chasing a ball when there is a game to save. Understood, need to bat positively but against the best bowler just in the second over chasing a ball wide outside was he trying to get 300 odd in a 50 over game.His main task was to see off the new ball as an opener & even first innings 80 was more of fortune than fortitude.If he does not get down to business as an opener in these four games leave him only to one day game I think whoever are his biased supporters. Scoring a few runs in a few games hit & run & getting out cheaply not good enough for a senior opener. Hope he will learn his lessons soon as he is a good batsman.

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan fan we are confident of a win as long as Sangakkara is at the crease. Hoping for yet another Masterclass from the Legend. Mathews is the other big hope in this chase for SL.

  • Lassie.Perera on July 19, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    If Amla was Sri Lankan captain I would have been furious of him. I know that S Africa still can win this match. But why any team wants to get a such a chance. This was a very generous declaration. If south Africa going to lose this match, who's going to get the responsibility? some could say that, this happened because of this sporting declaration. South Africans have a very good away record and that will be in jeopardy. S Africans still have a good chance to win and that is only a one result out of two. Now I think a draw is out of the equation. As a Sri Lankan supporter, there is light at the end of tunnel. In this match, end of the fourth day, who thought that SL was in this situation.

  • SpectatorSL on July 19, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    Amla certainly would be regretting for the early deceleration. It might be a brave decision or in some case a misjudgement about SL batting.But in SA's point of view they might wanted to bat another few after tea, as nimalgamage stated.

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    SA made a huge error here simply under estimating SL camp. So you will face consequences by tomorrow afternoon and it is decided!. Lets now see forward to 2nd test.

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Hashim Amla is a positive Captain and declaration not only a captains decision he must have consulted his coach and players !! it is a positive decision although i think they should have batted about 10 more overs SL are certainly looking good ! If SA want to win this they have to stop the run leakage from the spinners and The seemers have to bowl bigger spells Chances will come and i think it will be an interesting match I dont think Imran Tahir should be playing in tests !! Not at all consistent with hsi line and length :/

  • rohanblue on July 19, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    scoring 260 runs in 5th day galle pitch is very tough, bt if sanga is there, any chase is possible, sanga is super man, plus SA dnt have good spiners, my bet is on Lanka.........

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 19, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Amla has done a brave decision and SL will loose the match by about 100 runs after tea. Only men who can stand out against it Rain, Sanga and Anjelo. It will be either SA win or Draw.

  • samanjith on July 19, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    This Test is nicely placed for Great final day at Galle. Though SA were leading in this match up to Tea of 4th Day, due to strong reply by Sanga and Kaushal, now place Sri Lanka in a more favourable position in this test. We cannot blame Amla for the declaration, but last session did not turn out as he expected and now think tanks in Sri Lankan camp will work out strategies overnight to bring this great Galle Victory for Lions.

    Equation is 90 overs to get 260 Runs, less than 3 runs an over. Though this is a test approach now should be like a limited overs game. Key is not losing too many wickets in the first 2 sessions. Given Top 3 Run Scorers this year in Test Cricket, Sanga, Mathews and Mahela Sri Lankans has a Great Chance for turning this over for Sri Lanka. Good Luck Lions!

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Srilanka should bat cautiously and resolutely to win the match. Trimanne, Mahela and Matthews should be able to do it.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 19, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    If CSA is prepared to play Tahir - who always disappoints and is never able to keep clam under pressure as is the case now with Sri Lanka applying it aggressively, why isn't Phangiso being given a chance?

  • on July 19, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    New captain Amla took too big and unnecessary a risk by declaring that early. He should've batted for another 8 overs at least. His own team just demostrated that one can get 4 an over on that pitch, it's not that difficult. Smith didn't lose tests because he made sure of it; in tests as opposed to ODI's, NOT losing is the important thing.

    I hope the Proteas don't lose this series because of Amla's error of inexperience. If the bowlers pull through and win the match, they will save South Africa from Amla's error.

    Many spectators and commentators do not understand the differences between test and ODI cricket, but Amla should know better. He played for years in the Test World Champion Protea side, and he knows how that was done.

  • KingOwl on July 19, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    At the moment, it is anybody's game. Chasing 370 is a huge task on a tough Galle pitch. If SL do it, it will be an amazing win. They will have to break a few records to do so. But they have the ability. Perfectly set for the final day.

  • CricketChat on July 19, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Match heading for a great final day. With over a 100 already shaved off the target, SA's only chance to win is if they attack. A draw seems unlikely as the remaining target is not much.

  • zarasochozarasamjho on July 19, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    So refreshing to see Amla being an attacking captain; the match will probaly head for a draw but all 3 results are definitely possible. Interesting@

  • on July 19, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    guya don't forget mahela too he is the only batsmen to have a 100 @ galle (except last wicket) tharanga has got 90 and now he'll fail continuesly coz he won't be dropped

  • crzcric on July 19, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    SL done very well for now.But real challenge is to survive from reverse swinging ball.If they do that they have a chance to win.Thahir also can be dangerous if he find his rhythm. I don't see a draw here. Either SL or SA. Hoping a thrilling finish.

  • nimalgamage on July 19, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    This is a very positive declaration by a captain who is making his debut as a captain. If I were the captain I would have batted 6 overs after tea and get additional 30 runs and give SL a target of 400 in 114 overs.

    This positive declaration makes the match is still opened for the both sides and SL will also go for a win and which may lead for some wickets. If SA batted out SL from the test match SL will play for a draw and wickets also hard to come by.

    Hats off for Amla to making such a declaration and making game more interesting going for the 5th day

  • on July 19, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Mathews needs to play himself at 4 or 5 if SL want to win this.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 19, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    My fears are being realised that Imran Tahir is too inconsistent for Test Cricket. He is being attacked and cannot land the ball in the same place to create pressure.

    Dane Piedt should play in the next Test regardless of the result either in place of Tahir or Philander who looks toothless on this deck.

  • on July 19, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Good luck To SL for the chase (Y) You can do it

  • Mervo on July 19, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    I wonder why SA made such a generous declaration. SL were totally out of the match.

  • Blade-Runner on July 19, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    Everyone is so busy discussing how to get the wicket of King Sanga that they have forgotten about our magnificent skipper, Angelo Davis Mathews. :) If Sanga doesn't get you, Mathews certainly will. Beware of the captain who leads from the front !!! :)

  • jimwhatever on July 19, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    About AB- I doubt there is any other cricketer who is accepted globally. Almost everybody is happy when he makes runs. his grace is so endearing

  • St.John on July 19, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Reflexes are a funny thing. Ageing batsmen usually don't realize they cant bat like they did in their hey days but Kumar Sangakarra defies the laws of nature. Sadly for his erstwhile friend Mahela Jayawardene the opposite rules. Kumar S has got the plaudits of many prominent cricket analysts and experts, but I still feel its not enough. The man is phenomenal. Probably SA might win this ( A draw more likely) but Sangakarra can make it an improbable SL victory if someone stays with him and Sanga himself doesn't get out.

  • Nuwas on July 19, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    Batsmen in the Caliber of Sanga hardly fails twice in a row specially when such in the form of his life. Same can be said about Mathews & MJ too, so the chase is really on. And I just started to wonder if SA took initiations of creating the "Proteas Cook" with Amla! still early thoughts, lets see ;)

  • Proteas_Supporter on July 19, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    Brave decision from Amla to declare at Tea. Hats off to that! Biff wouldn't have declared until the lead went past 400.

    I don't know how many teams have lost a test after declaring in both the inns' but I'm afraid SA are well on their way to lose this one.

  • DnJsh on July 19, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    @vkias - I think you forget Mathews, who is in very good form. Would be another valuable wicket in the innings.

  • Rom1966 on July 19, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Sanga and Mathews are key players tomorrow. Two good test matches going on, great for test match cricket .

  • Joelkok on July 19, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Great courage Hashim on declaring earlier than normally but maybe you could've declared later so your team can get more runs but that declaration makes a big statement on what direction you want to lead your team. Hopefully your bowlers can finish the job. Still Sanga at the crease. Looks dangerous.

  • on July 19, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    SL have 1 day more. They r in contention to win this game

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    Sanga is in dangerous mood...until unless SA take his wicket, its even difficult to draw the test....common SA do it, take just one wicket..only one valuable wicket of the innings

  • on July 19, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    This is cricket,who play well they will win. We can see Sri Lanka is doing well in their 2nd innings and hope they can cruse 370 target comfortably by tomorrow tea time. Best wishes. A Sri Lankan from KSA.

  • on July 19, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    I think after losing 3 wickets sl go defensive .good decision from Amla

  • Blade-Runner on July 19, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka are playing very positive Cricket here. You know what they say, attack is the best form of defense. Sanga needs anchor this chase with others batting around him. This is gonna be a cracking chase. Kudos to Amla for his brave declaration.

  • Kavum on July 19, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Very challenging declaration. There is no way SL can bat for a draw. There is going to be a decision one way or another in this game. SA seem to have this match in the bag but this is cricket and the unexpected is just around the corner (SL must hope). Do this for the old man Mahela!! Go team SL!

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    @Chamal Daulagala....probably you have forgotten the fact that luck will favour only those who do hardwork....SA did lot of hardwork for this series, so it deserves for luck...on the other hand SL took SA lightly, paid the price for this mistake....

  • CrICkeeet on July 19, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    Great decision from Amla! Many captains now a days want 2 bat an hour more needlessly in this type of situation. that did nothing but help the opposition to pose a draw...

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    highest chase in Galle track is only 96 runs....SA has already amassed 4 times more than that score....but SA is not having quality spinners...so few more runs close to 400 runs required....no doubt SA is in driver seat...it seems that the players of SA did some hardwork before this series....and hardwork always ends in fruitition....today SA should take some 3-4 wickets, then can expect easy win....go SA just kill the game

  • on July 19, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    No difference between skill? Luck? Drop a catch, get an edge or let the ball hit the wicket is skill not luck.

  • Springbok111 on July 19, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Sorry Chamal Daulagala, it can't just be luck. I see quite a big difference in skill between them.

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    highest chase in Galle track is only 96 runs....SA has already amassed 4 times more than that score....but SA is not having quality spinners...so few more runs close to 400 runs required....no doubt SA is in driver seat...it seems that the players of SA did some hardwork before this series....and hardwork always ends in fruitition....today SA should take some 3-4 wickets, then can expect easy win....go SA just kill the game

  • on July 19, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    I don't see any difference between two teams in skills. But huge difference in luck. lot of chances goes free in SA innings but in SL innings all chances even half chances bring a wicket that is the only difference. we hate that sour t of luck favor cricket

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    common SA we want some more quick runs....declare after tea....400-425 target is more than enough for defeating SL...they have never chased 350+ runs in test cricket...later take out the wicket of sanga and mathews...game over...1-0 lead

  • on July 19, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    This test match is in control of SA but let's see, how much they lead SL team?. SA should declare innings after taking 300+ runs to force them to pursue runs or draw.

  • on July 19, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    dale steyn is a force of nature. god knows what we're going to do when he retires. nip up to phalaborwa for the next classic fast bowler?

  • on July 19, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    dale steyn is a force of nature. god knows what we're going to do when he retires. nip up to phalaborwa for the next classic fast bowler?

  • on July 19, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    This test match is in control of SA but let's see, how much they lead SL team?. SA should declare innings after taking 300+ runs to force them to pursue runs or draw.

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    common SA we want some more quick runs....declare after tea....400-425 target is more than enough for defeating SL...they have never chased 350+ runs in test cricket...later take out the wicket of sanga and mathews...game over...1-0 lead

  • on July 19, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    I don't see any difference between two teams in skills. But huge difference in luck. lot of chances goes free in SA innings but in SL innings all chances even half chances bring a wicket that is the only difference. we hate that sour t of luck favor cricket

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    highest chase in Galle track is only 96 runs....SA has already amassed 4 times more than that score....but SA is not having quality spinners...so few more runs close to 400 runs required....no doubt SA is in driver seat...it seems that the players of SA did some hardwork before this series....and hardwork always ends in fruitition....today SA should take some 3-4 wickets, then can expect easy win....go SA just kill the game

  • Springbok111 on July 19, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Sorry Chamal Daulagala, it can't just be luck. I see quite a big difference in skill between them.

  • on July 19, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    No difference between skill? Luck? Drop a catch, get an edge or let the ball hit the wicket is skill not luck.

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    highest chase in Galle track is only 96 runs....SA has already amassed 4 times more than that score....but SA is not having quality spinners...so few more runs close to 400 runs required....no doubt SA is in driver seat...it seems that the players of SA did some hardwork before this series....and hardwork always ends in fruitition....today SA should take some 3-4 wickets, then can expect easy win....go SA just kill the game

  • CrICkeeet on July 19, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    Great decision from Amla! Many captains now a days want 2 bat an hour more needlessly in this type of situation. that did nothing but help the opposition to pose a draw...

  • vkumar_086 on July 19, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    @Chamal Daulagala....probably you have forgotten the fact that luck will favour only those who do hardwork....SA did lot of hardwork for this series, so it deserves for luck...on the other hand SL took SA lightly, paid the price for this mistake....