Sri Lanka stamped their authority in home conditions beating South Africa by a massive margin of 278 runs in the first Test at Galle – to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.
Meanwhile, being bundled out for 126 in the first essay, the Proteas collapsed for 73 on Saturday (June 14) in pursuit of an unlikely 352 to win.
Interestingly, it is their lowest total ever in all Test matches since re-admission. The victory margin of 278 runs is Sri Lanka’s fifth largest in Tests and South Africa’s fifth heaviest defeat since re-admission in 1991.
Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took six wickets in the second innings – to complete a match haul of 10-78, while veteran Rangana Herath took five wickets after conceding 77 during the match. Only three batsmen managed to touch the two-digit score with Vernon Philander unbeaten on 22 runs.
Eventually, Perera finished things off in style by sending Tabraiz Shamsi back to the hut.
A disciplined South Africa attack had earlier removed last six wickets on the third morning for just 79 runs. Kagiso Rabada struck twice in one over after running out Roshen Silva.
Moreover, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Dale Steyn took one wicket apiece to finish the innings off.
Angelo Mathews resisted for Sri Lanka early in the day, making 35, before stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal’s stroke-filled 33 not out pushed the home side’s lead beyond 350.
Steyn’s wicket of Lakshan Sandakan saw him equal the South Africa record for most Test wickets alongside veteran pacer Shaun Pollock.
In the end, the target proved to be well beyond the reach of the visitors.
Meanwhile, the visitors have many things to ponder about. They will have to make a proper strategy to tackle the Lankan spinners which they certainly lacked in this game.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 287 (Dimuth Karunaratne 158*; Kagiso Rabada 4-50) and 190 (Dimuth Karunaratne 60; Keshav Maharaj 4-58) beat South Africa 126 (Faf du Plessis 49; Dilruwan Perera 4-46) and 73 (Vernon Philander 22*; Dilruwan Perera 6-32) by 278 runs.