South Africa grinds its way to No.1 spot

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South Africa’s tailenders put on a gritty effort that was led by Vernon Philander to fight off Sri Lanka’s spinners to snatch a thrilling draw in the second Test and seal a 1-0 series win at Colombo on Monday (July 28). The series victory ended South Africa’s jinx of 21 years in Sri Lanka, after winning a series in the island in its first tour in 1993. South Africa won the first Test in Galle by 153 runs. Chasing 369 for a win, South Africa was struggling at 148 for 8 in the final session of the Test, but Philander (27 not out) and Imran Tahir (4 not out) hung on in the final nine overs to finish at 159… Read More →

South Africa needs 331 more on final day

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Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, struck half-centuries as Sri Lanka declared its second innings on 229 for 8 to set South Africa a target of 369 on Sunday (July 27), the fourth day of the series-deciding second Test at Colombo. Sangakkara scored 72, his tenth score in excess of 50 this year, while Mathews remained unbeaten on 63. In reply, South Africa lost Alviro Petersen, who fell for a duck, early, when he was caught off Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner before reaching 38 for 1 after 17 overs when stumps were drawn. The visitor now needs 331 more runs off a minimum of 98 overs to be bowled on the final day. Sri Lanka started… Read More →

Dickwella fined and reprimanded

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ICC Media Release Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella has been fined 10 per cent of his match fee and also received an official reprimand after being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct following an incident on day three of the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the Sinhalese Cricket Club (SSC) in Colombo. Dickwella admitted to the charge and accepted the sanction imposed by Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees without the need to convene a disciplinary hearing. Through his admission, Dickwella was found to have breached Level 1 Article 2.1.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which states: “Where the… Read More →

Sri Lanka well ahead despite Amla ton

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Hashim Amla played a captain’s knock and was unbeaten on 139 but Sri Lanka was the one in the driver’s sear at the second and final Test against South Africa in Colombo on Saturday (July 26). Sri Lanka bowled out South Africa for 282 in its first innings, but Amla did well to keep the hosts at bay for nearly eight hours. It was Sri Lanka’s dynamic spin duo of Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath that left the visitors in a tangle. While Perera took 5 for 69, his second five-for in Tests, Herath finished with figures of 4 for 71. South Africa’s struggles against spin was made more apparent by the fact that aside from Amla, none of the… Read More →

Bowlers put Sri Lanka ahead

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South Africa was left facing an uphill task after losing three wickets on the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka, with the home side dominating the day’s play on Friday (July 25) at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. At stumps, South Africa was 98 for 3, still trailing Sri Lanka by 323 runs. The spin-heavy Sri Lankan bowling attack kept the batsmen quiet, and South Africa will now look to its experienced duo of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers to retrieve the situation. Amla, the captain, was batting on 46 off 134 balls with de Villiers unbeaten on 11. Sri Lanka’s spinners gave their side an early advantage after the batsmen, led by Mahela Jayawardena’s… Read More →

Jayawardene century bolsters Sri Lanka

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Mahela Jayawardene smashed an unbeaten 140 as Sri Lanka regrouped after early strikes to post 305 for 5 on the first day of the series-deciding second Test against South Africa on Thursday (July 24). Jayawardene spent nearly six hours at the crease, coming in early after Sri Lanka was on a shaky 16 for 2, having opted to bat first at the SSC ground. In all, Jayawardene hit 16 fours and a six during his 11th century at the SSC, the most by any batsman at a single venue. This was also the 37-year-old batsman’s 34th Test century, and he joined Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara at tied fifth on the list of highest Test century makers. He shared two… Read More →