Proteas crumble under Fernando onslaught

Vishwa Fernando claimed career-best figures of 5-101 as South Africa lost five wickets for just 46 runs to be bowled out for 302 in their first innings against Sri Lanka in the second Betway test at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday.

South Africa had gone to lunch on 256 for five after Dean Elgar (127) and Rassie van der Dussen (67) had posted 184 runs for the second wicket, a record for South Africa against Sri Lanka and at the Wanderers. But four quick wickets for just 38 runs before the lunch break, left the South Africa under a bit of pressure.

Sri Lanka came out after lunch and struck in the first over as Wiaan Mulder (7) was trapped leg before by Fernando (23.4-0-101-5) with just one run added to the lunch-time score. His namesake, Asitha (19-5-61-2), then dismissed Keshav Maharaj (2) as the South African spinner edged through to Niroshan Dickwella behind the stumps.

Vishwa Fernando then cleaned up the tail, trapping Temba Bavuma (19) in front without offering a shot before Kusal Mendis pulled off a sharp catch at second slip to dismiss Anrich Nortje (13). Lungi Ngidi (14 not out) struck a few boundaries but then Lutho Sipamla (5) was caught in the gully region by Dasun Shanaka to bring the innings to a close.

Sri Lanka returned for their second innings 145 runs behind and Ngidi (4-2-10-1) struck in his second over, dismissing Sri Lanka’s first innings top-scorer, Kusal Perera for just a single, a ball that cut back from around the stumps to knick-off the bails on the leg stump.

Dimuth Karunaratne (11 not out) and Lahiru Thirimanne (4 not out) saw their side to the tea break with the total on 16 for one, a deficit of 129 runs and nine second-innings wickets in hand.

Elgar and Van der Dussen had started the day with the total on 148 for one and quickly added 68 runs in the first hour at around five runs to the over as Elgar registered his 13th test century and third against Sri Lanka while Van der Dussen brought up his 4th test half-century. But once the drinks break was over, Sri Lanka took control.

Elgar edged a ball from Dushmantha Chameera (14-1-53-1) to Thirimanne in the slips before Van der Dussen nicked-off to Dickwella behind the stumps from a beautiful ball from Shanaka (15-3-42-2). Fernando then picked up the first of his five wickets when he had Quinton de Kock caught in the slips by Mendis for just 10.

At that stage, the Proteas had added just 23 runs for the loss of four wickets. But Bavuma and Mulder took the side through to the luncheon interval with the Proteas on 256 for five and an overall lead of 99.

The home side owned the first day after Dimuth Karunaratne had won the toss and elected to bat first. The Sri Lankans were bundles out for just 157 before tea with only Kusal Perera offering any form of resistance with a top-score of 60, which came from just 67 balls and included 11 boundaries.

Anrich Nortje was the pick of the bowlers as the speedster claimed career-best figures of 6-56 while Mulder started the implosion with figures of 3-25 as Sri Lanka lost nine wickets for just 86 runs.

The hosts lost only one wicket in the afternoon session, with Aiden Markram edging through to Mendis off Aistha Fernando (14-2-53-1) for just five with South Africa’s total on 34 before Elgar and Van der Dussen batted out the remainder of the first day’s play with an unbeaten stand of 114.

**As published on Supersport.com

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Author: Brendon

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