South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2018, Test Series, Second Test Match, Day 1, Sri Lanka vs South Africa
Friday, July 20, 2018, Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo
Day 1 Wrap:
Sri Lanka were off a great start with both their openers getting to their respective half centuries. Danushka Gunathilaka scored his maiden half century, while his partner Dimuth Karunaratne got to his third consecutive fifty-plus score in Tests. Courtesy of their brilliant partnership, Sri Lanka go unscathed in the first session – 93 for 0 at Lunch on Day 1.
Keshav Maharaj then breathed life into South Africa’s campaign with three quick wickets in the second session. And then he went to finish the day with 8 wickets. His 8-for are the best bowling figures for a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka. Keshav Maharaj is also the third bowler to take an 8-fer in Tests against Sri Lanka – Imran Khan in Lahore (1982), Shannon Gabriel at St Lucia (2018) and Keshav Maharaj at SSC (ongoing Test match) are the three players to take an 8-fer in Tests against Sri Lanka thus far.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan former captain Angelo Mathews completed 5000 career runs in Test cricket when he was batting on 10* in the second session thus becoming the ninth Sri Lankan to get to this milestone. However, he soon fell on the same score on the other side of the Tea Break.
Earlier on Day 1, hosts Sri Lanka have won the toss and opted to bat first. That’s an obvious choice for the captain winning the toss at this venue. Both teams have made changes coming into this game – South Africa have included Theunis de Bruyn, Lungi Ngidi in place of Tabraiz Shamsi, Vernon Philander while hosts replaced Lakshan Sandakan with Akila Dananjaya.
“This ground is renowned for assisting pace and bounce and we feel on this wicket Sri Lanka will struggle more against the pace bowler than a spinner,” said Faf du Plessis at the toss. What a blunder in reading the pitch. Let us see how this decision going to cost Proteas in this do-or-die game!
Match Summary (so far):
Sri Lanka – 277/9 (Dananjaya de Silva – 60, Danushka Gunathilaka – 57, Keshav Maharaj – 8/116) at stumps on Day 1.
Top performer of the Day:
Keshav Maharaj (SA) – 8 wickets
Playing XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal (c), Rangana Herath
Bench: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan
Playing XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Theunis de Bruyn, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi
Bench: Vernon Philander, Tabraiz Shamsi, Shaun von Berg, Heinrich Klaasen
** Image credits to The National