At the current situation is concerned, the South African batters are failing agonisingly to comprehend the direction of the turn from the Sri Lankan bowlers. The Lankan bowlers have wrecked havoc and youngster Akila Dananjaya, who loves being called a “mystery spin bowler” has done his bit.
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The 24-year-old spinner Dananjaya spun a web around the Proteas batsmen with his variations a the Lankans continued their dominance on the second day of the Colombo Test.
The visitors were skittled out for a paltry score of 124. It was their third consecutive total under 130 and it is really a major concern for the number second Test team in the longer version of the game.
Dananjaya’s all-round brilliance at SSC:
Dananjaya registered the figures of five for 52. He lured the batsmen into false shots as the Proteas batsmen were continuously bamboozled by the spinners.
The Panadura-born off-spinner was given the second over of the day and he struck immediately while bowling the second ball of the over. It was a beautiful delivery to the Proteas opener Dean Elgar.
The southpaw pushed at an off-break and failed to close the face of a bat and nicked it to the second slip. The visiting batters were not able to pick that which way the ball was turning.
However, Dananjaya’s second wicket was Theunis de Bruyn, who pushed the delivery without any conviction. It was a straight delivery and was caught behind.
Eventually, it was enough to raise the alarm bells for the Proteas as they succumbed to another below-par performance in the Test series. The mystery bagged three more wickets as South Africa were shot out for just 124 inside 35 overs.
“I call myself as a mystery bowler because other than off-spin, I use leg spin and the googly as well. Even today, I used the leg spin and the googly,” Dananjaya revealed at Stumps.
Akila Dananjaya bowled with zest and zeal:
“I was not doing anything big other than keeping a tidy line and length. But towards the end, I varied the deliveries a bit,” he added.
Dilruwan Perera, who bagged a four-for and Rangana Herath were the only two others bowlers who were used by Sri Lankan captain Suranga Lakmal.
Veteran left-arm orthodox spinner Herath took up the supporting role to perfection.
Rangana Herath’s void won’t be filled easily, says Dananjaya
“I don’t think we can fill that void very easily. He is a legend. Since Rangana and Dilruwan (Perera) are there at the moment, I have a lot to learn from them. It’s very easy for me to play alongside them because they are speaking to each other and I also around both of them. We share Ideas and jokes as well but I learn a lot from them,” he added.
For Sri Lanka, Akil Danajaya and Herath were impressive with the bat in hand.
While Dananjaya made 43 off 91 deliveries, Herath chipped in with 38. He was Keshav Maharaj’s ninth victim. The left-arm spinner finished with exceptional figures of nine for 129.
“I am happy about that [partnership] because I have worked a lot with Thilan (Samaraweera, the batting coach). He supported me a lot. When in the middle, Rangana kept telling me that we need a partnership and I was just taking his advice,” Dananjaya concluded.