Man of the Match: Kusal Mendis
Disappointed South Africa to face high spirited Sri Lanka for the 2nd Test
South Africa team will be disappointed after losing the First Test match from the position they were in. Their batting lacked discipline in both the innings and they fell short by 50-0 runs which opened the doors for Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis played well and scored runs at crucial junctures. Their top four batsmen failed to score a single fifty in both the innings and failed to give good start to the team. They need put up a better performance in this match to help them avoid a rare series defeat. There bowlers failed to capture the last wicket and their partnership of 78 runs helped Sri Lanka to win. Dale Steyn was back amongst the wickets and looked threatening in both the innings. Kagiso Rabada had a rare off day in the second innings and he will be dejected with it. Vern Philander was injured and was not able to bowl on the last day of previous test match.
Sri Lanka team would have surprised themselves with a one of the greatest fourth innings chases in Test history. Kusal Perera was at his absolute best scoring 153 runs and guided his team to victory with last man Vishwa Fernando. He was only Sri Lankan to score more than 50 runs last match. The other batsmen had few starts but failed to convert it to a substantial score. Their bowling attack looks good with the introduction of newbies Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Lasith Embuldeniya. These three new bowlers have captured 18 wickets in the last match. Suranga Lakmal leads the bowling and is their most experienced pacer right now
Hashim Amla – Amla is going through a lean patch and he needs to get back to form soon else he may lose his spot in the playing XI. Amla is classy player who has ability to play long hours.
Dale Steyn – Steyn seems to be back to his best and he seems to smashing some records every time he takes up the field by improving his wickets tally.
Stats from the series:
Quinton de Kock – 135 runs (80 & 55)
Dale Steyn – 6 wickets (4/48 & 2/71)
Faf du Plessis(C), Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vern Philander, Dale Steyn, Thenis de Bruyn, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj/Duanne Olivier
Faf du Plessis, DW Steyn, Quinton de Kock, Duanne Olivier, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Aiden Markram, Willem Mulder, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma
Kusal Perera – Perera took his team to victory single handedly with the scores of 51 and 153* in the two innings. He will boosted by last match heroics to play positively.
Lasith Embuldeniya – The debutant took a 5-fer in the second innings and helped to reduce the target which gave the Sri Lankan team an outside chance to win which they utilized.
Stats from the series:
Kusal Perera – 204 runs (51 & 153*)
Vishwa Fernando – 8 wickets (4/62 & 4/71)
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Embuldeniya
Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Vishwa Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal
Port Elizabeth pitch is one of the slower pitches in the South Africa but it is not expected to turn. The pitch may spice up as the match progresses and batting becomes difficult in fourth and fifth day. The pitch aids the fast bowlers and average first innings score in this pitch is 300-320 runs. The Average drops to 150 runs in the fourth innings.
The pitch is best for batting in the first two days and both teams will look to take advantage of it. The pitch quickens up and it becomes very difficult to bat in the fourth innings. So we expect the team winning the toss to bat first.
South Africa had a rare blip in the first match and they might come out stronger in the second match. They are formidable team in their backyard with their pacers leading their charge for victory usually.
We are backing South Africa for the win in the 2nd Test!
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