Test: Sri Lanka ‘a’ in command on final day

2012-07-09 00:00

WHAT a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, Dimuth Karunaratne and his Sri Lanka ‘A’ side were beaten in three days by SA ‘A’, while this time around, they head into the final day of the second unofficial test today at Kingsmead leading by 263 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Karunaratne has enjoyed a match to remember, scoring 83 in the first innings and walking out last morning undefeated on 99, on the verge of his eighth first class hundred.

Faf du Plessis’s men replied to Sri Lanka first inning total of 336 — Ryan McLaren once again among the wickets with 4/51 in 25 overs — with 290.

Opener Reeza Hendricks struck 47, while the top order struggled for consistency, only Du Plessis (23) and Farhaan Behardien (66) looking settled.

Wickets tumbled regularly and at 179/7, it looked as though the visitors would enjoy a healthy lead on the first innings.

However, Wayne Parnell, after an indifferent performance with the ball (2/109 in 19 overs) took the attack to the Lankans, scoring 70 from 120 balls, with nine fours. Simon Harmer weighed in with 22 to ensure the South Africans remained within touching distance. Best of the bowlers was Kosala Kulasekara (3/60).

At stumps yesterday, the Sri Lankans had looked untroubled in reaching 217/3 in 62 overs, all five batsmen reaching double figures, including 51 from opener Dilruwan Perera (six fours, one six) in an opening stand of 110 with Karunaratne.

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