Rabada, Philander take South Africa closer to series win

Home side reduces Sri Lanka to 130/4 at the end of the third day of the Newlands Test in a chase of 507


Kagiso Rabada took the wickets of Kaushal Silva and Dhananjaya de Silva to derail Sri Lanka’s chase

Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander took two wickets each as Sri Lanka was left struggling at 130 for 4 in a chase of 507 on the third day of the second Test at Newlands on Wednesday (January 4).

South Africa had declared its second innings on 224 for 7 earlier in the afternoon, with Dean Elgar again leading the batting effort.

Angelo Mathews (29 not out), the captain, and Dinesh Chandimal (28 not out) were batting at the close, their fifth-wicket stand worth a fighting 61.

Philander struck early in the Sri Lankan chase, having Dimuth Karunaratne bowled for 6 in the sixth over of the innings and Kusal Mendis caught at third slip for 4 in the tenth over.

Kaushal Silva and Dhananjaya de Silva defied the South African bowlers for more than an hour in a 41-run partnership, before Rabada dismissed both batsmen in the space of seven balls.

Silva (29) was caught off his glove at short leg and in the next over, de Silva (22) was out leg before.

Rabada finished the day with 2 for 22, while Vernon Philander had 2 for 34.

The home side’s innings was propped up by Elgar, who hit a half-century to add to his first-innings hundred. Stephen Cook (30), JP Duminy (30), Faf du Plessis (41) and Quinton de Kock (29) all got starts, before Keshav Maharaj and Philander took the lead past 500.

Suranga Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 4 for 69 and ensuring South Africa did not bat with the freedom they would have liked as they eyed a declaration. Elgar, whose fifty came off 82 balls and included seven fours, was finally sent back by Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, who had the batsman caught at slip.

South Africa leads the three-match series 1-0.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)