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  1. #1
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    Sri Lanka [287 & 190] beat South Africa [126 & 73] by 278 runs in the 1st Test

    Overview
    Sri Lanka v South Africa
    Galle International Cricket Stadium, Galle
    1st Test
    Thursday, 12 July, 04:30 GMT, 10:00 Local


    It’s unfair to suggest that the South Africans are ill-equipped to deal with conditions in Sri Lanka based on their 3-0 defeat in India – when they just couldn’t handle Ravichandran Ashwin (31 wickets) and Ravindra Jadeja (23 wickets) – in the four-Test series in late 2015.

    They are a team more used to playing in seam- and swing-friendly conditions, but the last time they made the trip across to the island nation, in 2014, they did win the two-Test series 1-0. Not to forget, they have won three and lost only four of their 12 Tests in Sri Lanka over the years. So it might not be loaded as much in favour of Sri Lanka as many might expect.

    The big talking point in the lead-up to the match has been about Dale Steyn’s impending return to Test cricket and South Africa’s playing XI.

    Popular wisdom will suggest two spinners and two pacers, but Ottis Gibson, the South Africa coach, has suggested South Africa will stick to their strength – fast bowling. In 2014, while Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath picked up 16 and 12 wickets respectively, Dale Steyn (13) and Morne Morkel (12) were seriously effective too.

    Should Steyn make the final cut, and join two others out of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi, South Africa might still be tempted to field two of their three spinners – Keshav Maharaj, the first choice in Tests, Tabraiz Shamsi and Shaun von Berg.

    In the only warm-up game, a two-day affair against a Sri Lanka Board XI, a lot of the South Africans showed good form: Shamsi (5/45) and von Berg (2/82) got wickets, while Hashim Amla (78), Temba Bavuma (58) and Faf du Plessis (79) scored half-centuries.

    With much of the batsmen pretty obvious selections, South Africa know where they stand, and Sri Lanka also know what to expect, at least in terms of the personnel they are faced with.

    Importantly, both teams are coming off positive results in Test cricket. If South Africa beat a troubled Australia 3-1 at home, Sri Lanka got a good result in the Caribbean, drawing their three-Test series 1-1 after winning the final game by four wickets in Barbados.

    There is the question mark over the immediate future of Dinesh Chandimal, their captain who scored 119* and 39 in a match-saving effort in the second Test in the West Indies before being suspended. While the results of the hearing aren't out yet, he and coach Chandika Hathurusingha are likely to face a two-match suspension for a spirit of cricket offence in the previous series in the West Indies.

    There are also fitness question marks over Rangana Herath and Kusal Perera, but the good news is that Angelo Mathews is back after the birth of his second child.

    But Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were among the runs there, and the pace trio of Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal and Kasun Rajitha in good wicket-taking form. With the pitches at home likely to favour the likes of Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera as well as Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and the part-timers, Sri Lanka will be hopeful of getting a good result.

    Key players

    Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka): The 40-year-old left-arm spinner can be a beast in favourable conditions, and has picked up 94 of his 418 wickets in 17 Tests in Galle over the years, at an average of 24.78, markedly better than his career average of 28.26. When teams travel to Sri Lanka these days, he is the man they prepare to ward off. It’s not easy.

    Dean Elgar (South Africa): The South Africa opener averages 51.63 for the past year, a period where he has scored four of his 11 Test centuries and been the man to topple at the top of the order. Elgar was also the hero – along with Steyn – in South Africa’s Test win in Galle in 2014, scoring 103 in the first innings. With the young Aiden Markram for company, Elgar will have a big job on his hands, a job he has shown he has the stomach for.

    Conditions

    It’s July, and when it’s this time of the year in Sri Lanka, rain is always a little distance away. The forecast for the next few days is of rain, heavy spells at times. If that happens, this Test will suffer. If it stays away, going by tradition at least, the batsmen initially and the spinners for the most part will hold sway.

    Squads

    Sri Lanka: Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Rangana Herath, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva

    South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Shaun von Berg

  2. #2
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    Sri Lanka have won the toss and have elected to bat first. Chandika Hathurusingha and Dinesh Chandimal are missing from the Sri Lankan side as expected. South Africa have Dale Steyn back in the team which will boost their bowling attach which is missing Morkel.

  3. #3
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    I think SA have made a mistake rushing Steyn in for this series. They should have played an extra batsman, 2 seamers and 2 spinners. That batting lineup has no one who is currently a decent player of spin. They ight get away with it since it is only Lanka but in UAE/India they will get hammered.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  4. #4
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    Is it some technical glitch or vernon is bowling below 50mph?

  5. #5
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    Good start for SL.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  6. #6
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    Hope Steyn finally goes past Pollock. Deserves it completely

  7. #7
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    Guna was out in the first over itself, but SA didn't review, QDK was dead sure there was a knick, and FAF :3

  8. #8
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    Very poor coverage by Sony. No bowling speeds shown.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  9. #9
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    Beautiful bowling by steyn. Lucky six there.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  10. #10
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    Rabada gets the first wicket as Sri Lanka are now 44/1. Gunathilaka goes for 26.

  11. #11
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    61 . 1

    Solid start by Lanka so far.

  12. #12
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    shamshi strikes.

  13. #13
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    I'm unable to watch, how's Steyn looking? Seems to have had an "expensive" first session.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandiasza View Post
    I'm unable to watch, how's Steyn looking? Seems to have had an "expensive" first session.
    Not at full pace but he was hitting the deck and was accurate at good length or just short of it. However, he was clutching his shoulder at lunch apparently and now he's off the field.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    Not at full pace but he was hitting the deck and was accurate at good length or just short of it. However, he was clutching his shoulder at lunch apparently and now he's off the field.
    Thanks for the update. Hope Steyn isn't down AGAIN. From memory this would be the third match where he leaves us a bowler short shortly after starting the match.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandiasza View Post
    Thanks for the update. Hope Steyn isn't down AGAIN. From memory this would be the third match where he leaves us a bowler short shortly after starting the match.

    Well they have gone in with 5 bowlers with two being spinners so I think it won't affect your bowling much in this match I reckon .

  17. #17
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    I don't think is being shown anywhere in the UK

  18. #18
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    Easiest series win in Asia coming up for Saffers unless they complete choke against spin. But this batting performance by SL, apart from Karunaratne, is comfortably worse than even BD and WI do at home .

  19. #19
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    SA currently have the upper hand.

    Karunaratne has 120 of the 216 runs scored by Sri Lanka

  20. #20
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    Karunaratne 139, SL 246


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi123 View Post
    I don't think is being shown anywhere in the UK
    Been looking for it everywhere, it's ridiculous.

    If only ICC had some kind of global streaming service.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Been looking for it everywhere, it's ridiculous.

    If only ICC had some kind of global streaming service.
    HAHAHA That would require thinking beyond England India and australia..

  23. #23
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    SL take a wicket before stumps through Rangana Herath, who else ?

  24. #24
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    Markram another HTB? I hope not.

  25. #25
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    Sri Lanka will win this.

  26. #26
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    KAGISO RABADA led a strong bowling performance that saw the Standard Bank Proteas overcome the disadvantage of losing the toss to take all 10 Sri Lanka first innings wickets inside 80 overs on the opening day of the two-match Test Series at Galle on Thursday.

    At one stage it looked as though were holding an overwhelmingly strong position when they had the home side 176/8 shortly after the tea interval but opening batsman Dalmuth Karunaratne rallied tail-end support to see the last two wickets add 111 to the total and give Sri Lanka a much more competitive 287 all out. Karunaratne became the fourth Sri Lankan to carry his bat in a magnificent innings of 158 not out (222 balls, 13 fours and a six). It was his eighth Test century and the fourth time he has made more than 150.

    Sri Lanka then completed an excellent session by taking the wicket of Aiden Markram in the four overs the Proteas had to face before the close.

    Spin bowling is going to be a factor throughout the match but the pitch nevertheless looks a good one for batting at this stage.

    Rabada moved smoothly back into Test match mode after an extended break to recover from his back strain and was always a threat as he took 4/50 in 14 overs. That included the initial breakthrough in his opening spell and a sensational start to his second spell when he took two wickets off the first three balls he sent down.

    The Proteas included Tabraiz Shamsi as a fifth specialist bowler as they continued the attacking approach that has been the hallmark of Ottis Gibson’s reign as head coach and the move paid off. The wrist spinner had an excellent day with a career best return of 3/91 in 25.4 overs. The first 20 of those overs came in a single spell and for a long time, in addition to the wickets he took, he conceded little more than two runs to the over.

    He came on to bowl at 67/1 after 18 overs and, when he was rested, Sri Lanka had slumped to 211/8 in 57 which was a clear indication of his value.

    His control was most impressive and Karunaratne was the only Sri Lanka batsman to pick his varieties with confidence. By blocking one end he enabled Faf du Plessis to launch a short-pitch attack from the other end by Rabada and the returning Dale Steyn.

    It worked for the first 60 overs before the Proteas attack started to tire.

    The five-man attack has given the Proteas a good position that the specialist batsmen will need to consolidate on day two.

  27. #27
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    Dean Elgar was SA's 2nd best batsmen in India tour of 2015.

    I feel he will play a major role in ongoing Sri Lanka series as he is a very good player of spin, probably the best SA are having, given Amla's form.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandiasza View Post
    I'm unable to watch, how's Steyn looking? Seems to have had an "expensive" first session.
    Not seems fit enough to bowl his usual spell.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    Easiest series win in Asia coming up for Saffers unless they complete choke against spin. But this batting performance by SL, apart from Karunaratne, is comfortably worse than even BD and WI do at home .
    Winning is SL is not so easy for non-Asian teams. SA will be batting last here so it's all about making a big one in first inning itself.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Winning is SL is not so easy for non-Asian teams. SA will be batting last here so it's all about making a big one in first inning itself.
    SA let SL off the hook at 176/7 . With the bowling that SA has, they should have blasted away the tail and then made one big score. However, pitch is already in turning and Lanka are playing. 3 spinners. If visiting teams can't win at Galle then it sure as hell is nigh impossible to win on that SSC highway.

  31. #31
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    Karunaratne is an underrated opening batsman. Lacks consistency but has played some gun innings when everyone else has failed. Can see his average inching up close to 40 in 2 years.

  32. #32
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    Good recovery by SL. It will be interesting to see how SA batsmen handle Herath on that pitch.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rishta Aunty View Post
    Karunaratne is an underrated opening batsman. Lacks consistency but has played some gun innings when everyone else has failed. Can see his average inching up close to 40 in 2 years.
    Even averaging 36 is not bad. Statistically, Sri Lanka along with South Africa is one of the toughest places to open the batting. If Karunaratne can touch 40 he will considered among Sri Lanka's best openers ever.

  34. #34
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    Lol Maharaj was lbw to herath. Dunno why rangaiah didn't review

  35. #35
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    Struggle for South Africa this morning and things aren't looking that great at the moment for the visitors. They are 16/3 in 11 overs with both the openers back in the hut. We have to remember that there is no ABD to pull them out of the woods as he did in the series against India earlier this year.

  36. #36
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    Right arm off break and left arm spinner open the bowling lol

  37. #37
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    SA getting exposed on sub continent wickets again.

  38. #38
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    Atrocious technique of SA batsmen, looking totally clueless

  39. #39
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    Thought that South African batsmen would struggle without ABD in this tour against Lankan spinners. Looks like they will be giving Sri Lanka too big a lead to make a comeback.

  40. #40
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    South Africa are minnow level in Asia.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackShadow View Post
    South Africa are minnow level in Asia.
    1.071 W/L in Asia since re-admission. The Indian away test series was atrocious stuff though. Still some time to salvage this match. Need a gritty partnership.

  42. #42
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    All the wickets so far have been picked by spinners.

    Philander and Du Plessis have struck a 35 run partnership.

  43. #43
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    Terrible day so far. All hope on champion bat FAF and rest of the tail.. play each over on merit and get closer to Lankan total.
    C'mon guys!

  44. #44
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    at least score 200.

  45. #45
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    Pretty much over. Only a miracle and rain can save us now.

  46. #46
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    Sa vs aus was to decide which team is best in the world. Really?
    Sa is getting beaten by a sl team during their rebuilding phase.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandiasza View Post
    1.071 W/L in Asia since re-admission. The Indian away test series was atrocious stuff though. Still some time to salvage this match. Need a gritty partnership.
    I am talking about the current team. The performance in India was worst we have seen from touring teams for ages, and now Sri Lanka of all teams is making South Africans look like amateurs.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    I think SA have made a mistake rushing Steyn in for this series. They should have played an extra batsman, 2 seamers and 2 spinners. That batting lineup has no one who is currently a decent player of spin. They ight get away with it since it is only Lanka but in UAE/India they will get hammered.
    Like I said . 2 seamers and 2 spinners was enough for this pitch. SA missed the extra batsman. AB could walk in right now and still be the best player of spin in this lineup.

  49. #49
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    Game looks well in Lankan pocket unless they collapse for less than 150 which looks unlikely.

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    SL is rising back again.Good performances in last few series.

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    THE Standard Bank Proteas will be looking to at least two of their senior batsmen to match the mastery of Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne if the visitors are to bid for a famous come-from-behind victory in the first Test match being played at Galle.

    On the face of it the home side held an almost impregnable position at stumps on day two with an overall lead of 272 runs with six second innings wickets intact and a full three days remaining in which to force a result.

    But a closer look at the scorecard reveals just what a dominant role the Sri Lankan opening batsman has played. He followed his unbeaten 158 in the first innings with an invaluable 60 (80 balls, 7 fours) in the second to give him a match aggregate of 218 out of the 398 runs Sri Lankan have made in total thus far.

    Equally revealing is the fact that Faf du Plessis’ 49 (88 balls, 5 fours) is the next best effort with no other batsman on either side having reached even 30.

    It will be no easy task to do this on a surface on which the spinners are playing an increasingly dominant role. The three Sri Lankan spinners took 7 wickets between them in the Proteas first innings headed by Dilruwan Perera’s 4/46 while Keshav Maharaj has got back to his best form taking 3 of the 4 Sri Lankan wickets to have fallen so far in their second innings (3/27 in 16 overs).

    The fourth wicket fell to Kagiso Rabada, giving him an impressive 5 wickets in the match to date.

    Tomorrow’s morning session will be a key one as the Proteas clearly need to take the last 6 wickets as quickly as possible. This is underlined by the fact that the highest fourth innings total at this ground is exactly 300 (by Pakistan) and that was in a losing cause.

    The Proteas highest fourth innings total in Sri Lanka is 251/7 when Jonty Rhodes and Clive Eksteen led a famous rearguard action at Moratuwa to secure a draw in the first ever Test between the two countries in 1993. But with so much time left in this match a draw would be the most unlikely outcome at this stage.


    We will never surrender. We win or we die. And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next.

    OMAR MUKHTAR

  52. #52
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    Another twenty or thirty runs and SL have this match in the bag. SA will have to score the highest ever 4th innings score by a non Asian team in Asia and this SA batting lineup is definitely incapable of that.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  53. #53
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    If SL can bat out time and get around 150 more then it is most likely game over for SA.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    Another twenty or thirty runs and SL have this match in the bag. SA will have to score the highest ever 4th innings score by a non Asian team in Asia and this SA batting lineup is definitely incapable of that.
    Match is pretty much done here. Disappointing performance ..


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Match is pretty much done here. Disappointing performance ..
    Very disappointing performance considering that SA were the best team in Asia until a few years back. Batting looks very weak. With AB gone and Amla in terminal decline, the batting looks minnow level in these conditions.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  56. #56
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    SL are still a beast at home.

    I honestly thought that SA would stomp SL as Lankans are a terrible team now.

    SA need to play Ngidi.

  57. #57
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    Am happy for Sri Lanka

  58. #58
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    Standard Bank Proteas batsman, Hashim Amla, says partnerships will be crucial ahead of a high fourth innings chase in the first Test match against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium. The home side holds a strong lead of 272 runs with six wickets remaining, after a dominant performance with the ball led by off-spinner Dilruwan Perera (4/46) on day two.

    Amla says the batsmen will have to look to play with more ‘intent’ to counter Sri Lanka’s spin threat in their second innings, after the poor first innings performance of 126 all out. All of the batsmen in the top six are capable of playing long attritional knocks, which is the only way for a positive result with three days left in the match.

    “ Yes, 272 runs on that type of wicket is a lot of runs,” he admitted after the day’s play. “ If we can look to restrict them under 320 it will be a good target for us. If we can get a few good partnerships and one of us plays an innings like Karunaratne played it will get us close to that score.

    “ Any of the batsmen in the top six would love to occupy the crease for a long time to score the runs and to get us to the total we have to chase,” he said. “ Myself and everyone else would like to get stuck in and bat for as long as possible.”

    The wristy right-hander, who is one of the most successful players of spin in the current squad, believes the key to success against Sri Lanka’s spin wizards is a game plan of solid defence and positive scoring options. He expects conditions to deteriorate as the match progresses but remains hopeful the batsmen will have learnt from the errors in the first innings.

    “The opener (Karunaratne) batted exceptionally well, it was an excellent knock which got them to the score that they got to,” he said. “It is a tough wicket, you have to capitalise on the loose balls when you do get them and hope that the ball doesn’t have your number on it. You always have to have the intent when you are batting.

    “ You have to have decent defence to keep out the good ball, and you have to look to score,” he said of the ways to counter spin. “ If you can combine those two, with a bit of fortune, it gives you the best chance of scoring.

    “ The way everyone played, to be honest, I feel they applied themselves as best as they can,” he said. “ Batters from both teams have found it difficult to bat, barring one or two batsmen, so going into the second innings we have to keep playing with good intent and keep learning. We have played in conditions like this before and the scores are low, you don’t get scores of 350 and above. You take some learning from it but you have to play the way the pitch allows you to play.”


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  59. #59
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    People need to stop treating SL like a minnow team. Their test results have been very good in the last 2 years.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Odd_One View Post
    People need to stop treating SL like a minnow team. Their test results have been very good in the last 2 years.
    india whitewashed them last year without breaking a sweat...

  61. #61
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    good results for the lankans

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedwoodOriginal View Post
    Even averaging 36 is not bad. Statistically, Sri Lanka along with South Africa is one of the toughest places to open the batting. If Karunaratne can touch 40 he will considered among Sri Lanka's best openers ever.
    Great point! You wouldn't expect Sri Lanka to be, but I remember reading that. The only opener recently that has bucked that trend is Sehwag.

  63. #63
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    Pretty great from Sri Lanka especially considering they are without their captain who also happens to be one of their best batsmen.

    Last time South Africa toured, Sri Lanka lost a in Galle to a very similar South African side. Whereas, Sri Lanka had Jayawardena and Sanga in their side. Now a far younger and inexperienced Sri Lankan side is on course to beat the Proteas.

  64. #64
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    Can't wait to see the clueless look on the English batsmen's faces when they tour SL later this year and are spun out by Herath, Perera, Sandakan

  65. #65
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    Lanka lead already 300 here , they can bowl out SA twice with this score

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedwoodOriginal View Post
    Can't wait to see the clueless look on the English batsmen's faces when they tour SL later this year and are spun out by Herath, Perera, Sandakan
    Pakistan should learn from this , they need to produce turning tracks in UAE against non subcontinent teams and play three spinners.

  67. #67
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    Matthews is looking good he will look to push lead past 350 mark.

  68. #68
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    Maharaj gets Matthews

  69. #69
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    shamshi gets one , Lanka nine down.

  70. #70
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    Lakmal 33 no , he is playing a gem here

  71. #71
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    Lanka all out.

  72. #72
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    352 runs is the target for SA

  73. #73
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    SL give lakmal a couple of overs with the new ball and see what he can do.

  74. #74
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    5 for no Loss

    That will be lunch

  75. #75
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    Openers Makram and Elgar have survived tricky first 3 overs as they go into Lunch on Day 3 with scorecard reading 5/0 chasing a mammoth total of 352 runs. Earlier Sri Lanka were bowled out for 190 in their second innings.
    #SLvSA #Cricket


    We will never surrender. We win or we die. And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next.

    OMAR MUKHTAR

  76. #76
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    348 more to get... Cmon Boyzzzzzzzzzzzz...

    Yea its very tough, but our boys will hopefully fight it out and get as close to the target as they can.

  77. #77
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    Uhhhhh... i just went for coffee and two don already... yuck...

  78. #78
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    three down. disaster...

  79. #79
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    SA just cannot play spin. Looking totally cluekess again

  80. #80
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    This is Below Minnow level,, ABD what a selfish player,,, He left his team high and dry,,,

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