Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Dimuth Karunaratne carries bat but Sri Lanka 287 all out
15 July, 2018, 17:32
Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada says he is fit and raring to go ahead of the first Test match against Sri Lanka starting in Galle on Thursday.
Sri Lanka refused to take the field on the third morning of the St. Lucia test against the West Indies last month in protest of a ball-tampering charge against Chandimal.
Former pace spearhead Dale Steyn, returning to the South African team from injury having last played a Test in January, picked up the wicket of Kusal Mendis for 24 to trigger a mini collapse.
However, captain Faf du Plessis might have to rely less on his quick men and more on his spinners, as the conditions in Galle may just suit the slower bowler. The Barbados Test had effectively been won on the back of an outsanding third-innings fast-bowling effort from Sri Lanka, when they had dismissed West Indies for 93.
This past weekend, Shamsi made a massive statement in the Proteas' warm-up match, where he took 5-45 against a Sri Lanka Board XI team.
Since then, the two sides have locked horns over nine Test rubbers with South Africa emerging victorious in six and Sri Lanka in two - one series ended in a draw. "He has the ability to swing the bowl both ways which I think not many bowlers have", said du Plessis.
Sri Lanka opted to bat after winning the toss.
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 (1/54).
However, Karunaratne put up a fine rearguard action with the tail as the last two wickets produced a total of 111 runs to help the hosts to a decent total.
Karunaratne, who missed the Windies tour due to injury, stitched together stands of 48 and 63 with Lakmal and Lakshan Sandakan respectively for the final two wickets after Sri Lanka tumbled from 115-2 to 176-8. "Lahiru Kumara bowls at 148kmph, Suranga Lakmal can move the ball, and Kasun Rajitha also did well".
Dean Elgar and Keshav Maharaj, the nightwatchman, remained unbeaten on 4 and nought respectively to carry South Africa to 4 for 1 in 4 overs at stumps, trailing Sri Lanka by 283 runs on a rain-affected day.
"I would say honors are probably even", Shamsi said. You must give credit to their tail. However, they are left uncertain with the ban looming over their skipper Dinesh Chandimal who is the best batsman of the current squad by a long way.