Proteas keep heads held high

Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)
Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)

Colombo - Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says his players will need to remain positive to save the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, despite the hosts holding a firm advantage in the match. The Proteas face the prospect of another batting marathon to save the Test, but have not ruled themselves out of surviving.

As it happened: Sri Lanka v South Africa - Day 3

"How we start with the new ball tomorrow is going to be very important," he said at stumps on Saturday.

"If we can get them under a little bit of pressure, they might take a little bit longer to get their runs. They might be 60 for four, or there might be a lead of 240 with six or seven down with us ending up chasing 240 with four sessions to play. You are still very much in the game if this situation arises."

Hashim Amla's 22nd Test century allowed the Proteas to chip away at the deficit, with two rearguard partnerships featuring Dale Steyn (30) and Imran Tahir (15), helping to consume crucial minutes in the match.

"He was really patient," Domingo said of Amla's innings of eight hours.

"He applied himself really well. He has got his strategy and game plan that he wants to employ and he stuck to that extremely well today."

"Runs and time are such crucial aspects," Domingo added.

"It would have been great to have got another 100 runs but it would have also been great to have scored 50 runs less and batted for another three or four hours. We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us in this Test match."

The Proteas have been in this situation before in the last 18 months, and should count on past experiences to fuel their determination.

"They have done it before and it's at times like this where we will fall back from the experiences of past performances," the coach explained.

"You don't need to think too far back; this side has been in positions where it hasn't looked like they have a chance of surviving and then getting really close to surviving."

"If you look at the last Test match against Australia, we were three down in the first 10 overs and lost it with three overs to spare. We did it in Adelaide and we did it in Johannesburg against India. You call on those experiences at times like this."
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