Sri Lanka must be sensationally pleased with the way things turned out for them at Centurion on Day 1 after they elected to bat on a track with a decent bit of grass. Dimuth Karunaratne looked at ease during his outing, as did both the Kusals, Perera and Mendis. Sri Lanka’s start in the morning was unlike Tests – they were 54 for 3, merely 10 overs into the first session. Their intent-based start cost them as all of their top-three fell playing expansive shots.
While Karunaratne (22 from 20) was undone by Lungi Ngidi after the batsman chopped on a delivery straight onto his stumps as the ball jagged in sharply from back-of-a-length, Perera’s (16 from 29) over-aggressive approach led to his end as Wiaan Mulder made him thick-edge one to skipper Quinton de Kock behind the stumps right before Anrich Nortje had got Kusal Mendis (12 from 16) caught by Ngidi at mid-on.
Injury hinders a sailing Dhananjaya de Silva
Resuming from 102/3 after Lunch, the second session entirely belonged to the visiting party as Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal played handsomely against the Proteas attack. De Silva was cruising effortlessly, and when a triple-figure mark looked imminent, his run was curtailed by an injury as he pulled a muscle while trying to sneak a single. Being retired hurt for 79 from 105, he was replaced by Niroshan Dickwella, who survived a couple of close shaves.
Dinesh Chandimal did not entirely look at ease against the Proteas’ pace attack, although he ensured to not budge and ensured that Sri Lanka did not lose a wicket in the entire session, having added 110 runs. Going into Tea with the score reading 212/3, and Chandimal unbeaten at 50, the next session was indeed Sri Lanka’s chance to put the hosts under some serious pressure. And they nearly managed to do that.
An even session
Continuing after the Tea break, Chandimal looked cautiously balanced as he did not try anything fancy, and he was well assisted by Dickwella. Their partnership gradually swelled up to 99 but came to an end when Mulder caught Chandimal (85 from 161) by surprise as he found some extra bounce.
Caught in the middle of nowhere, he had committed to the stroke and ended up ballooning the ball towards the slips, where Markram held onto the catch. Soon Dickwella took a review to challenge an LBW appeal off Mulder to no avail. Gone just a run short of his half-century, he was replaced by Wanindu Hasaranga (18 from 20), who would soon fall to Lutho Sipamla – who made a terrible start at debut, leaking runs with the new ball.
At the close of the day’s play, Sri Lanka had 340 for 6 in their bag, with Dasun Shanaka and Kasun Rajitha standing at unbeaten 25 and 7, respectively. An enticing day of Test cricket awaits both sides, with the visitors appearing marginally ahead at the moment.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Sri Lanka have enough to cause problems. If Quinton and Faf don't score big, this Test will make for a very interesting story. #SAvSL
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 26, 2020
Since Mark Butcher — sorry, Boucher — took over as coach, Sri Africa — sorry, South Lanka — haven’t scored 300 in any format. That could be great news for Dimuth de Kock. #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/jd31ITpkQI
— Iceland Cricket (@icelandcricket) December 26, 2020
It seems Sri Lanka knew that they would struggle to survive 90 overs with inexperience batting lineup and hence they planned to concentrate on run rate to post a decent total? #SAVSL
— Harin (@Harin3885) December 26, 2020
— Sheshan 🇱🇰 (@sheshandj) December 26, 2020
No Proteas' batsman wants to come out & bat tonight. All day in the field. Tired as hell. #savsl
— Kgauza Lecowza (@kgaugelo_SM) December 26, 2020
This is the highest 1st innings score by an Asian team at Centurion. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾#SAvSL
— Sakun (@Sakun_SD) December 26, 2020
Man… I thought Australian and Indian commentators are biased until I heard South African commentators today.
😂 These South African commentators are straight up cheering for South Africa instead of commentating. #SAvSL
— Sakun (@Sakun_SD) December 26, 2020
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) December 26, 2020
Loving @amlahash commentating ✨👏🏾👏🏾
— Andile Phehlukwayo (@andileluck19) December 26, 2020
Dimuth De Kock is the Sri Lanka captain. pic.twitter.com/I7Pfpq0YBT
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 26, 2020
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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