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South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Durban, Dec 26 2011, Sri Lanka tour of South Africa

2nd Test, Durban, December 26 - 29, 2011, Sri Lanka tour of South Africa
338 & 279
(T:450) 168 & 241

Sri Lanka won by 208 runs

Player Of The Match
30, 4/49 & 5/79
Match centre 
Scores: Sanjay Murari | Comms: Nitin Sundar
Scorecard summary
Sri Lanka 338/10(108.2 overs)
South Africa 168/10(54.4 overs)
54 (83)
5/52 (16.4)
29* (36)
4/49 (20)
Sri Lanka 279/10(78.2 overs)
5/73 (20)
2/46 (18.2)
South Africa 241/10(87.3 overs)
5/79 (30.3)
51 (81)

Time, then, to say adieu from the international commentary box for 2011. A superb year, with lot of high-quality cricket, even if some of the best series were two-match shoot-outs. Hoping for more such classics next year, may be a little less contention around DRS. On behalf of my mates at ESPNcricinfo, this is Nitin Sundar saying so long, and thanks for all the fish. See you in 2012!

Sid Ravi's report has all you need to know about what transpired today. I suspect this match report will be read many times over the years, and perhaps this is where Sri Lankan cricket turns the definitive corner as a force in Test cricket. We'll soon have a lot of analysis and comment from Madame Firdose Moonda who is in Durban. Do check in for that.

It is dark and gloomy in Durban, but as they say, it is always the darkest just before the dawn. What an arena to win your first Test of the post-Murali era! What a heart-warming turnaround this, and what a way to round off one of the greatest years of Test cricket in recent times! Sri Lanka have hurtled from one low to another after a sizzling run to the World Cup final. Their board ran into losses, their Twenty20 league was forced to be scrapped. The cash-strapped board couldn't pay the players, and one defeat followed another. They hurtled to an embarrassing loss in Cardiff, in a Test where it rained for more time than there was play, and proceeded to lose every single Test and ODI series they played in the year. They took a hammering of epic proportions in the first Test here. Who'd have thought they could make this turnaround happen? Take a bow, Sri Lanka! Cricket is richer for having you guys in the fold.

Presentation time: Smith: "We were outplayed comprehensively in all departments. Credit to Dilshan and his team. The surface probably suited their style of play better. Our bad sessions were really bad, and that was disappointing. Great to have depth in bowling. Vernon does so well, and then Marchant comes in and impresses. It is exciting to have these guys. Important Test ahead of us to start 2012." No talk there of quitting as captain. The rumours can wait for a while.

Dilshan: "Great comeback for us. Really happy to have my first win as captain in South Africa. I think our intensity was high from the moment we won the toss and chose to bat. If we put runs in the board, we knew we could put pressure on them, and that happened. Thilan batted really well with Chandimal, on debut. Sanga too made a fantastic effort, and everyone of us chipped in - Welegedara, Herath... this was a real team effort. Our fans know we can beat any team if we play our Sri Lankan brand of cricket. We just need to take this to Newlands."

We are informed that Rangana Herath is the Man of the Match. "Very happy with the way we played. A great moment for Sri Lankan cricket. So happy, this is unbelievable to win in South Africa! There was something in it for the spinners, so I knew I would get a lot of overs. The fielding was great, Sanga and Thilan made great centuries, and that's what made this possible."

Herath to de Lange, OUT

Superb scenes to sign off international cricket for 2011! Sri Lanka have won in South Africa at long last, and they are cock-a-hoop! Tossed up on the stumps and it goes straight through past de Lange's limp slog to the leg side. Stumps are disturbed by the ball, and then grabbed out by exuberant Sri Lankans. They join in a huddle in the middle. Swampy Marsh trots out with barely concealed glee on his face. A proud moment for each member in that team - they all played a part in this win.

Marchant de Lange b Herath 0 (2b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0
Herath to de Lange, no run

stays back and defends with the turn to the off side.

de Lange comes out. Sri Lanka will believe they don't need an extra half hour. Five balls left in this over.

Herath to Steyn, OUT

and another one bites the dust. Steyn's resistance is over. Just seemed to misread the lack of spin on this new ball - that can happen after batting for so long against an old one that was twirling around madly. He was playing down the wrong line as Herath slid this in, and by the time Steyn's bat came through to the left, the ball hit the pad in front of the stumps.

Dale Steyn lbw b Herath 43 (125b 7x4 0x6 153m) SR: 34.4

Two wickets to go. Tahir marches out to the middle. We can have an extra half hour tonight, but I doubt that light would allow it.

end of over 872 runs • 1 wicket
SA: 241/8CRR: 2.77 
Dale Steyn43 (124b 7x4)
Tillakaratne Dilshan 11-2-35-1
Rangana Herath 30-7-79-3
Dilshan to Morkel, OUT

Morkel's gone. Given lbw. He wanted to review it, but South Africa are out of reviews. Tossed up on off stump, he wanders across to the off side and heaves again, but the ball was too full for him to get under. It went under the bat and hit him on the back thigh as he kneeled down to slog. Hit in front of off, crashing into middle. Kettleborough got this one dead right.

Morne Morkel lbw b Dilshan 5 (10b 0x4 0x6 11m) SR: 50
Dilshan to Morkel, 2 runs

Morkel walks across and works Dilshan to the leg side for two.

Dilshan to Morkel, no run

a more considered leave outside off as the ball spins away.

Dilshan to Morkel, no run

that skidded on. Shrieks of angst from the fielders as Morkel leaves. Close to off stump that.

Dilshan to Morkel, no run

sharp turn away as Morne looks to defend to the off side. Beaten.

Dilshan to Morkel, no run

there could be a run out to complete this tale of woe... Or not. Morne might have just got back in. Squeezes with the turn behind point and sets off madly for a single that didn't exist. Steyn sends in him in the nick of time and Morkel dives in with the elegance of a giraffe diving in. A direct hit would have seen him on his way. Chandimal had to collect and break the stumps, though. Did the bat bounce after being grounded? Tough to say. He gets the benefit of doubt.

end of over 867 runs
SA: 239/7CRR: 2.77 
Dale Steyn43 (124b 7x4)
Morne Morkel3 (4b)
Rangana Herath 30-7-79-3
Tillakaratne Dilshan 10-2-33-0
Herath to Steyn, FOUR runs

too much flight, Steyn takes him on with a skip and a loft. Gets to the flight and tees off clean and straight. Well struck.

Herath to Steyn, no run

curling in towards middle and leg, Steyn defends off the front foot.

Herath to Steyn, no run

Steyn plays back to a flighted ball that spins down the line, but manages to defend it.

Herath to Steyn, no run

whoa, Steyn skips out and bashes a flighted ball right back and it bangs an evasive Morkel as he leaps on the right thigh pad. He goes down, but looks ok. The pad did the trick.

Herath to Morkel, 1 run

too straight, worked off the front foot to midwicket for a single.

Herath to Morkel, 2 runs

Morkel does a good impersonation of his idol Hayden, heaving a tossed up ball with the spin over midwicket for a couple.

"If SA are saved by rain tomorrow, everyone should become an atheist," says Kieron.

end of over 85Maiden
SA: 232/7CRR: 2.72 
Dale Steyn39 (120b 6x4)
Morne Morkel0 (2b)
Tillakaratne Dilshan 10-2-33-0
Rangana Herath 29-7-72-3
Dilshan to Steyn, no run

flighted to end the over, Steyn digs it out to mid-off.

Dilshan to Steyn, no run

loopy outside off, defended off the front foot.

Dilshan to Steyn, no run

lands outside leg and straightens. Easily defended.

Dilshan to Steyn, no run

stays back and defends a ball turning down the line.

Dilshan to Steyn, no run

defended with the turn to the leg side.

Best performances - batters
Spike Graph
Wagon Zone
KC Sangakkara
108 runs (190)
13 fours0 six
Productive shot
leg glance
33 runs
2 fours0 six
TT Samaraweera
102 runs (269)
11 fours0 six
Productive shot
leg glance
44 runs
4 fours0 six
Best performances - bowlers
M de Lange
HMRKB Herath
Match details
Kingsmead, Durban
TossSri Lanka, elected to bat first
Player Of The Match
Series result3-match series level 1-1
Match numberTest no. 2026
Hours of play (local time)9.30am start, Lunch 12.00-12.40, Tea 14.40-15.00, Close 17.00
Match days26,27,28,29 December 2011 - day (5-day match)
Test debut
TV Umpire
Reserve Umpire
Match Referee
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Instant answers to T20 questions
South Africa Innings
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