South Africa completed a dominating 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka shortly after lunch on the third day of the second Betway test at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The victory, coupled with the innings and 45-run win at Supersport Park in Century during the Boxing Day test, allowed the home side to whitewash Sri Lanka in a revenge series after having lost the previous two 2-match series at home and in Sri Lanka.
Man of the match Dean Elgar (31 not out) and Aiden Markram (36 not out) quickly knocked off the 67 runs required in just 13.2 overs with Markram striking four boundaries and Elgar five after Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 211 in their second innings shortly before lunch on day three.
The visitors had started the third day on 150 for four with captain Dimuth Karunaratne on 91 and Niroshan Dickwella on 18 and an unbeaten 41-run stand for the fifth wicket. The visitors would have wanted to dig deep and set the home side a target of 150 or more but Lutho Sipamla (9.5-1-40-3) cleaned-up the tail in double-quick time after Anrich Nortje (19-2-64-2) made the initial breakthrough by having Karunaratne caught for 103, his 10th test ton.
“We weren’t worried about the early runs. We just knew that we had to break the partnership and then quick wickets would follow. We were not worried about the chase because batting would become easier in the afternoon, so we were comfortable,” said Quinton de Kock via a virtual press conference.
“We wanted to get some runs and put pressure on them. We started to get some runs but then we lost a couple of wickets,” said Dimuth Karunaratne after the test match.
Lungi Ngidi (15-5-44-4) quickly dispatched Dickwella for 36, caught by Temba Bavuma at mid-on before Wiaan Mulder (13-3-52-1) had Dasun Shanaka caught by Sipamla on the leg side. Sipamla then clean-bowled Wanindu Hasaranga (16) and Asitha Fernando (0) before having Dushmantha Chameera caught behind by Quinton de Kock without scoring.
The second test match was a tale of scoring runs and then having a clattering of wickets as both sides proved on the first two days. Sri Lanka, who had won the toss and elected to bat first, had reached 71 for the loss Karunaratne (2), caught behind by De Kock off Nortje.
But then Mulder, who ended with 3-25, grabbed three quick wickets before lunch on the first day, dismissing top-scorer Kusal Perera (60), Lahiru Thirimanne (17) and Kusal Mendis (0) as Sri Lanka limped into lunch on 84 for five, having lost four wickets for just 13 runs.
“They bowled very well, used the conditions well. We were disappointed that we couldn’t get the runs for our bowlers to bowl at,” said the Sri Lankan captain.
Nortje, who produced career-best figures of 6-56, then decimated the tail as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 157 inside 41 overs with only Hasaranga (29), Chameera (22) and Thirimanne (17) making it to double figures. Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen then took their side to the close with an unbeaten stand of 114 for the second wicket after the early loss of Markam for just five as South Africa went to bed on 148 for one, a deficit of nine runs.
“The bowlers learnt a lot, bowling in the different conditions and at certain times. These guys are young guys and they needed to step up and that is what they did,” said the South African captain.
Elgar, who also picked up man of the series, and Van der Dussen then quickly set about building a first innings lead as they scored 68 runs in the first hour of the second day but shortly after the mid-morning drinks break, the home side fell apart. Elgar, after reaching his 13th test ton, edged Chameera (14-1-53-1) to Thirimanne in the slips for 127 then Van der Dussen (67) nicked off to Shanaka (15-3-42-2) with Dickwella taking the catch.
But the hero for Sri Lanka was Vishwa Fernando with the left-arm quick claiming his first five-for, ending with 5-101 as he dismissed De Kock (10), trapped Mulder (7) and Bavuma (19) in front before having Nortje (13) and Sipamla (5) caught.
South Africa lost nine wickets for 84 runs to leave Sri Lanka facing a first innings deficit of 145 runs. Ngidi struck quickly, removing Perera early for just a single before Karunaratne and Thirimanne (31) steadied the ship with an 85-run stand for the second wicket.
“We bowled well. Our bowlers made mistakes but we learned from them and adjusted pretty well,” said De Kock.
But three quick wickets in the space of 23 runs left Sri Lanka in a spot of bother as Ngidi had Thirimanne and Mendis (0) edging to De Kock behind the stumps and Nortje had Minod Bhanuka brilliantly caught by Keshav Maharaj in the mid-wicket region.
Sri Lanka were hopeful for a better third day’s play going into the shed at 150 for four and Karunaratne set on 92 and Dickwella with him on 18 and a slender lead of five runs, but despite a quick start from the Sri Lankans on the third morning, Ngidi, Nortje, Sipamla along with some poor shots from the visiting batsman, turned the third day in a session and a bit viewing.
**As published on Supersport.com