Proteas wilt after Maharaj heroics

Faf du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj (AP)
Faf du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj (AP)

Cape Town - The Proteas were unable to come to terms with Sri Lanka’s spin attack for the third innings in a row as they were bowled cheaply on the second day of the second Test match at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Saturday.

The Proteas first innings lasted less than 35 overs as they were bowled out for 124 runs to leave them with a first innings deficit of 214 runs. It meant that they have barely batted 100 overs in their three innings in the series to date and, with Faf du Plessis again making the top score in the first innings of 48 (51 balls, 8 fours and a six), it means they have yet to record a half-century in the series.

The bulk of the damage was done by Akila Dananjaya who took his second five-wicket haul in only his third Test match (5/52) in only 13 overs. He was well supported by Dalruwan Perera (4/40 in 12.5 overs).

The Sri Lankans then rounded off an excellent day by reaching 151/3 in their second innings in 34 overs for an overall lead of 365 with three days still available. Dimuth Karuwaratne continued his excelled form with his fourth successive score of more than 50 to close the day on 59 not out (92 balls, 8 fours).

In the process Sri Lanka posted an opening partnership of 91 to go with their 116 in the first innings.

There were a couple of statistical highlights for the Proteas with Hashim Amla becoming the third South African after Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith to reach a career aggregate of more than 9 000 Test runs and Keshav Maharaj completing a nine-wicket haul in the first innings and taking his match total to 11 by claiming the first two Sri Lankan wickets in their second innings.

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