Sri Lanka shaky at lunch

2011-12-15 12:49

Sri Lanka: 76/3 in 26 overs (Paranavitana 32, Jayawardene 23*, Philander 2/30, Steyn 1/12).

Greeted by a pitch that looked more like the outfield, Sri Lanka battled their way to 76/3 at lunch on Day 1 of the first Sunfoil test today.

Predictably sent in to bat by Proteas captain Graeme Smith, the diametrically opposite openers, the grafter Tharanga Paranavitana and the dasher Tillakaratne Dilshan started cautiously against the seaming ball.

While the pitch was liberally grassed, it looked a touch on the slow side, but it should quicken up as the game progresses.

The usually quick-scoring Dilshan was tied down by some accurate stuff from Dale Steyn and the Sri Lankan soon became Steyn’s 250th test victim when he spooned a simple catch to Vernon Philander at midwicket.

His predecessor, Kumar Sangakarra, Sri Lanka’s form batsman, lasted only three balls for his single before he sparred a seaming delivery from Philander to Jacques Kallis at second slip.

At 12/2, it looked like the Sri Lankan innings could subside further into the mire, but the lanky Paranavitana, who gutsed it out for 104 minutes for his 32, handled the Proteas bowling like a toddler learning how to walk.

The southpaw had his helmet manufacturer to thank when he ducked into Morne Morkel’s first ball bouncer.

He also copped another body blow and the three-count was nearly completed when his lazy waft dropped just in front of the slip cordon.

Mahela Jayawardene, who needs a big score, also looked troubled against the short of a length bowling, but his excellent leaving judgment outside offstump was mixed with plays and misses in the corridor of uncertainty.

In the face of the bowling, Jayawardene and Paranavitana chipped and chivvied their way to a 54-run partnership before the latter, who reached 1 500 test runs, had his offstump knocked back by a Philander delivery that snaked through bat and pad.
Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera ensured there would be no further setbacks.

Philander continued his excellent start to his test career with 2/30 in nine overs and was ably supported by Steyn, who returned figures of 1/12 in six overs.

Morkel, who generated steep bounce and seam movement from the West Lane end, was unlucky not to get a wicket.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.