Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day July 20, 2014

Steyn, Morkel bowl SA to big win

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'Sri Lanka batted way below their ability'

South Africa 455 for 9 dec (Elgar 103, Duminy 100*) and 206 for 6 dec (De Villiers 51, D Perera 4-79) beat Sri Lanka 292 (Mathews 89, Tharanga 83, Steyn 5-54) and 216 (Sangakkara 76, Morkel 4-29, Steyn 4-45) by 153 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel bowled South Africa to only their third Test win in Sri Lanka with 16 wickets in Galle, including seven on the final day. South Africa's lone specialist spinner Imran Tahir went wicketless in the final innings, but that did not prevent them from wrapping up proceedings before tea to start Hashim Amla's captaincy on a high in the country where they last lost an away Test series, in 2006.

Kumar Sangakkara was the biggest obstacle in the visitors' path, and he was dropped off Morkel, but gave away his wicket to a JP Duminy long hop to complete a perfect morning session for South Africa. Sri Lanka began the day on 110 for 1, 260 runs adrift of the target of 370. Sangakkara had come into the match with a record seven successive fifty-plus scores and had looked in no trouble in the first innings before chopping a pull on to his stumps off a wide delivery. He had purred his way to 58 on the fourth afternoon, and Kaushal Silva had defended and left superbly in an unbroken 96-run partnership. South Africa's spinners had bowled too many boundary balls.

The onus was on the fast bowlers on the fifth morning, and they promptly stepped up. Morkel hit Silva in the opening over and also beat him. Steyn had Sangakkara edging first ball but it did not carry to the cordon. In his second over, he had Silva pushing at one close to off stump and de Kock pulled off a diving one-handed take to his right.

Four balls later, Morkel had Sangakkara driving but de Kock put down a simpler chance. Sangakkara was on 65. Amla used his fast bowlers in short spells and Steyn and Morkel gave way to Vernon Philander and Tahir. The legspinner bowled with much better control than at any time in the match. But neither he nor Philander carried the threat Steyn and Morkel did. Tahir offered the inevitable full toss and Jayawardene deposited it over midwicket. Next ball, Sangakkara clipped Philander through midwicket for four more.

Amla brought Morkel back immediately after drinks and the fast bowler had Jayawardene feathering the first ball following the break through to the keeper. Jayawardene had looked ultra-cautious during his 31-ball stay and it was a top delivery to nail him, holding the line just outside off.

Morkel was given just two overs in that spell, and replaced with Duminy, who began with possibly one of the longest long hops ever. It was a half tracker that sat up way outside off stump, but Sangakkara picked out Amla at midwicket, the pull causing his downfall again. De Kock's drop had cost South Africa just 11.

Amla was on a roll now with the bowling changes. In came Steyn again. Thirimanne had tended to drive with an open face in the first innings too, and Steyn had him edging behind in his second over on return. Amla saw the chance to squeeze in another over from Morkel before lunch. Dinesh Chandimal was hurried on the hook by a bouncer and given caught behind by umpire Billy Bowden. Replays were not conclusive enough to prove there was no glove before the ball flicked the left sleeve, and Chandimal's review was in vain.

Sri Lanka had lost 5 for 40 in 18.2 overs, and Angelo Mathews had been left alone on the burning deck again. Like in the first innings, he fought. Like in the first innings, Rangana Herath fought with him briefly. South Africa could not bring down Mathews, but they eventually broke through at the other end.

Sri Lanka sent out the injured Shaminda Eranga to bat for the second time in the match, but Morkel ended the match with two wickets in two balls.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satchander on July 22, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody: Dude, lets not be disrespectful to any country just because the lost. It is really not funny to read your comments (From a fellow Indian fan)

  • top_SPIN on July 21, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    Congratulations to SA team and fans. Ball tampering is becoming a common allegation against SA, and that seems the only worry for SA team now.

    Steyn has been the best fast bowler in the last decade or so. He still delivers and he made the difference between two teams.

    Sri Lankan middle order woes dates back to 90s and still it is there. Lets hope Mahela could deliver something at SSC before he will be eventually dropped. People are asking for the heads of Chandimal & Thirimanna but result could have been different if Mathews had the guts to promote himself up and make a partnership with Sanga.

    Unless SL pitches are improved, it is impossible to think about becoming a considerable force in test cricket. The team who wins the toss gets an unfair advantage in these conditions.

  • dhanuhskaS on July 21, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    @Sam_Liyanage: I agree, only silver-lining in the dark cloud was, Tharanga's batting display. If not for his contribution, the end result certainly would have been an innings defeat. We saw how well Tharanga handled the fearsome attack of pace & some spin! He stayed at the wicket for more than 3 hrs and faced 155 deliveries in the 1st inning (majority from Steyn & Morkel). He played some beautiful cover drives, straight drives etc to collect collect 83 valuable runs with 14 boundaries We didn't see such a score (Vs any formidable side) from any of the openers tried during the past few years in any format (apart from Dilshan)! So, Tharaga's APPEARENCE AFTER 7yrs is certainly a POSITIVE one.

    These are the top scorers for SL in of 1st Test: Mathews- 89+27*=116, Av 116.0 Sanga- 24+76=100. Av 50.00 Tharanga- 83+14= 97, Av 48.5 I think Tharanga should be able to play long innings & add a few big hundreds to the side from the top, as he did before in ODIs. Hope for the Best, Good Luck SL.

  • anver777 on July 21, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    Well bowled Steyn & co !!! your hard work in SL hot conditions really paid off....... its hard to believe on a spinning/slow Galle Pitch (history says) SA pace battery stole the limelight & dominated the match !!!

  • priceless1 on July 21, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Juts a few months back Chandimal took time off from premier league tournaments to work on his batting , if he still cannot bat means he should quit cricket and fins some other profession which suits his talents...

  • RoshanF on July 21, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    What a superb performance by South Africa and especially Steyn and Morkel in tandem. Barring Sangakkara and Mathews nobody looked like putting up a real fight in the 4th innings. For all their brilliance, Steyn and Morkel had only to contend with these two batsmen and Tharanga in this match. There is no doubt about it that Sri Lanka have the " Longest Tail" in test cricket beginning with Thirimanne at no. 5. Not for the Lankan tail the gutsy heroics of the Kumar's, Shami's or the Andersons. The latter are prepared to go down fighting but the Lankan tail goes down, inevitably, trying to blaze away with gusto. Not even experienced hands like Herath or whenever he is picked, Kulasekara try. Coming back to the SA bowlers, Steyn's performance is surely only bested by Brett Schultz among non-sub-continent pacies who wrecked SL batting line-ups. And Schultz's is only better because he blew away a very good list of SL batsmen much unlike this weak crew. Expect another hammering at the SSC.

  • India_Rules_Everybody on July 21, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    Tigers/Lions or whatever the SL fans like to call themselves got mauled in their own dens! Mighty funny! :))

  • srinideva on July 21, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Looks like chandimal and thiramanie are well and truly the future of srilankan cricket. LOL

  • dummy4fb on July 21, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    For sri Lanka I feel that angelo must bat earlier to give him more opportunities to score big runs as he is the one batsman on form.

    Vernon did not take wickets, but kept it tight. He did beat the bat on occasions, but was unlucky. Lets hope his form comes back.

  • dummy4fb on July 21, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    Have seen the last day of match. SA is blessed with the best pacers in world and Steyn is the killer to any batsman. By the way, I liked the captaincy and decision of Amla, who have lot of courage, confidence and trust towards his team. Way to go #Amla #SA