SA Invitational grind Sri Lanka

2011-12-10 12:40

A 148-run partnership by Dean Elgar and Reeza Hendricks guided the South African Invitational side to 155/2 at lunch on day two of the tour game against Sri Lanka at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.

The South African Invitation side won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a placid track under overcast skies.

There was no play on day one due to rain. The invitational side features players who are bubbling under the national selection radar and top performing domestic players except those from the Warriors and the Cobras, who were involved in yesterday’s one-day cup final.

Hendricks and Elgar started cautiously but the southpaw Elgar soon got into his stride when he clipped fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep through midwicket for the game’s first boundary.

The tourists were dealt a further blow when Pradeep limped off midway through the fourth over due to a suspected hamstring strain and will not take further part in the match.

Sri Lanka was guilty of bowling either too full or too short, something the openers capitalised on. Hendricks took two fours off a Dilhara Fernando over while Elgar drove offspinner Ajantha Mendis to distraction.

The Sri Lankan spinners, who are set to play a big role in the upcoming test series, were easily read by the openers, a fact demonstrated by Elgar when he swept Mendis for six over midwicket.

Left arm spinner Rangana Herath helped pull back the run rate and troubled the right-handed Hendricks on a few occasions. Herath returned figures of 0/14 in seven overs while the wicket takers Mendis and Fernando returned figures of 1/61 and 1/41 respectively.

While feasting on the loose bowling, both batsmen reached their 50s, with Hendricks pulling Mendis over midwicket for six to reach his 50. Fernando, who maintained a full length, was rewarded for his persistence when he detonated Hendricks’ off stump with a Yorker.

The Knights opener scored 66 of 102 balls with 10 fours. Elgar (78) soon followed him when he cut Mendis to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip, who took the catch at the second attempt.Stiaan van Zyl and Rilee Rossouw saw out the remaining overs without further trouble.

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