South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Gqeberha, SL in SA, Feb 21 2019 - Ball by Ball Commentary

2nd Test, Gqeberha, February 21 - 23, 2019, Sri Lanka tour of South Africa
222 & 128
(T:197) 154 & 197/2

Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets

Player Of The Match
Player Of The Series
224 runs
SL 2nd Innings
Full commentary

Dimuth walks across to pick up the trophy and hand it to the rest of the players. They happily pose for photographs, there's laughter, joy and lot of cheer. Hip, hip, hurrayyyyy. On that happy note, it's time for Deiva and I, Shashank, to say thanks to all of you for joining us on a lovely Saturday. There's a lot coming up from Port Elizabeth. For starters, you can hop over to the home page to catch the match bulletin. Andrew Fernando will be busy, pretty sure he's got a few specials lined up from the venue. Don't miss it.

Fidel tweets: "Angelo Perera went to the middle, congratulated the two batsmen, plucked out a stump, then came back and handed it to Dimuth Karunaratne."

Join us shortly for the presentation

Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka's series-winning captain: "It's really a great feeling. Not easy when you come to South Africa and win a series. Lot of hard work, we did really well, enjoyed a lot and that's why we created history. I think the tours of New Zealand and Australia were really tough, we learnt a lot. The players wanted to do better for the team and for themselves. They realised what to do and what not to do, and that's why we are here."

"I want to thank the youngsters, like Vish, Embuldeniya, Oshada. Then with the bowling, Kasun, Suranga - all put their hands up. First-innings batting is a concern, we were behind the game at all times, but came back really well thanks to the bowlers. I have to dedicate this win to all the guys who supported us, the Sri Lankan fans who supported us. They backed us when we kept losing, we wanted to do something for them."

Kusal Perera is the Player of the Series for his 153 not out in Durban. Finishes the series as the highest run-scorer. Huge chants of Kuuuuuuuuusall Kuuuuuuuuusal from his mates.

"I heard good comments from all over the world, so I'm really happy. As a team we've worked really hard, great to see our country's flag fly high. Normally coach tells me to just back myself and play my normal game. That's what I do, try and play to my strengths. I know if I do that, I will get the results. 2-0, really happy."

Faf du Plessis: Very disappointing, up there with the most disappointing [series loss] from my personal point of view. We didn't play our best credit, to beat us 2-0, they should've done something right. We were poor with the bat right through the series. Both teams underperformed with the bat on two pitches that were conducive to scoring runs. Two guys scoring big runs like those two, should've happened. No fingers to be pointed at the wicket, they bowled well. The biggest disappointment lies within the tea, 99 percent of our dismissals were soft judgment errors and that's only fingers pointing back at ourselves.

"It's mindblowing that 31 wickets fell in two days, felt like a superb wicket. Actually a nice batting surface, if you put it down to bat batting from both teams, they showed today that if you apply yourself, there were runs to be had. This is a massive dent, up until this Test series, we were playing well at home, positive and aggressive Tests. Last two Tests, we weren't on as a team. We didn't take them for granted, end of season, maybe perhaps the guys were mentally a little bit off. But again that's no excuse."

"Big five months coming up, preparation shouldn't be taken for granted, if guys are slacking off a bit, we need to address it, that's one area you can control. The guys should be motivated for what lies ahead, one more series and then the World Cup. Important for me and the coach to ensure we're on the money and there's no weakness that creeps in."

Kusal Mendis is the Man of the Match. For his unbeaten second-innings 84 in a 197 chase. Well-deserved. "Happy to have done well in this game, want to continue the same form of 2018, happy to contribute to the team's cause," he says in Sinhalese. Then takes the mic and speaks passionately in his native language to his mates.

'Want to thank support staff, physio who made it happen for me. Twisted my ankle, but I managed to play because of you. Thanks to my mates for the support.'

This is as good a time as any to read about last night's magician Suranga Lakmal, by the one and only Andrew Fernando. This is a stunner you don't want to miss.

Did someone say it would prove to be a challenging first session? The most optimistic Sri Lankan fan would've perhaps taken 60 runs for the loss of a wicket, but to wallop 137 at the stroke of lunch without losing a single wicket is a magnificent effort. Dimuth Karunaratne deserves the piece of silverware. First Test series as captain and he's ticked it off with a historic series win. All-round contributions, none more than by Suranga Lakmal and of course the man who made them believe - Kusal Perera. Last weekend, in Durban, he scripted a stunning counter-attack to give them an improbable one-wicket win. Six days later, here they are after walloping the hosts in a little over two days. This is going to be a memorable evening.

What a moment for head coach Chandika Hathurusingha too. Stripped off the status as selector-on-tour, he's had a rough time with the administration. He wasn't consulted on the captaincy switch, given an inexperienced side. What happens next? Key members get injured, and he's left with the unenviable task of shepherding a young group with little experience. To bring out the best in them and lift them, insulate them from the happenings outside needs some effort. When the side loses, the coach gets the brickbats. When they win, it's only fair he gets a fair share of credit with the captain and rest of the team.

Maharaj to Fernando, 1 run

There's history! Sri Lanka becomes the first subcontinent side to win a Test series in South Africa. What a moment! This is well tossed up, he turns this wide of midwicket to clinch the winning runs. What a performance. Sri Lanka arrived here battered and bruised. Walloped in Australia, bruised by injuries to key players, captain dropped, new skipper instated, only spinner gets injured, and here they are, with a 2-0 series win. Well played, Sri Lanka.

Maharaj to Fernando, no run

gets well forward and smothers it

Maharaj to Fernando, SIX runs

excellent use of the feet as he clobbers this over long-on! Didn't get to the pitch but freed his arms and swung it up, up and over.

Maharaj to Kusal Mendis, 1 run

eases with the spin to deep point

end of over 451 run
SL: 189/2CRR: 4.20 
Oshada Fernando68 (103b 10x4 1x6)
Kusal Mendis83 (109b 13x4)
Wiaan Mulder 4-1-6-0
Keshav Maharaj 6-0-37-0
Mulder to Fernando, no run

beaten by late movement, also kept a touch low. On the bounce to de Kock

Mulder to Fernando, no run

short of length and angling in, defended with soft hands.

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, 1 run

punched to point where there's a misfield by Maharaj, single taken

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

gets right back into the crease and bunts this to the off side

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

nice and full on off, he gets well forward and defends.

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

floats this full on the stumps, defended.

end of over 446 runs
SL: 188/2CRR: 4.27 
Oshada Fernando68 (101b 10x4 1x6)
Kusal Mendis82 (105b 13x4)
Keshav Maharaj 6-0-37-0
Wiaan Mulder 3-1-5-0
Maharaj to Fernando, 2 runs

driven with the spin into the gap at extra cover, long-off comes around to cut that off

Maharaj to Fernando, no run

eased back to the bowler

Maharaj to Fernando, no run

looks to late cut, beaten by sharp turn

Maharaj to Fernando, no run

gets besides the line as he lunges forward, stabbed away

Maharaj to Fernando, FOUR runs

full-blooded sweep, gets a top-edge but it trickles to the deep square fence. 11 to go

Maharaj to Fernando, no run

lunges forward and defends.

end of over 434 runs
SL: 182/2CRR: 4.23 
Kusal Mendis82 (105b 13x4)
Oshada Fernando62 (95b 9x4 1x6)
Wiaan Mulder 3-1-5-0
Duanne Olivier 12-2-46-1
Mulder to Kusal Mendis, FOUR runs

the on drive right out of the top drawer, stunning wrist work! Not all that full, but he played that superbly. Laxman would've been proud of that

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

cover drive, quite nicely played. Straight to the fielder though

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

too full, angling in, he shows the full face of the bat as he keeps that out

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

full, just outside off, left alone. Deviated a fair bit after it passed the batsman

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

gets well forward and bunts it into the off side

Pramodh: "Which is the next test series after this one?!? Is it the ashes... " -- Bangladesh play New Zealand in New Zealand

Mulder to Kusal Mendis, no run

length, or maybe a touch fuller on off, defended.

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