Test Cricket: New Zealand-Bangladesh Third Test abandoned due to terrorist mongs; Afghanistan-Ireland

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Anyway, the proper cricket starts again later this morning with the now unmissable second test between South Africa and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan visit is only two tests long so the worst they can do in the series after that astonishing win last week is draw. But they'll want to win and they must now believe it can happen.

That said, SA didn't lose because of mistakes they made, more because a miracle innings took it away from them. So the won't panic. That said, no Vernon Philander, who is out with a hamstring injury and it'll be interesting to see who they play in his place. I think a perceived shortage of runs will result in them calling up another bat, maybe even de Bruyn again, which I think would be an error. The right move would be to give Wiaan Mulder his debut.

4214

Look how South African he is.

Just turned 21, better with the bat than with the ball I think but he's an all-rounder; time for a look.

The pitch is traditionally a spinner's pitch but they've tried to change that up for this series; will be interesting to see which way Sri Lanka go with their bowling attack.

Test cricket: a series of little interest has now become can't miss.

 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Mulder debuts; SA win the toss and bat.

Sri Lanka have spunked a review already; SA are 9-0

Elgar 2
Markram 6

Elgar trying to move outside the crease to counter-act the LBW which is something you don't see often these days.
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Magic; proper battle on - Bavuma, arguably SA's gun batsman just now run out in a disaster that sees SA fall to 73-4. 400 is apparently not uncommon on this pitch and it is expected to zing about a bit with spin later on. This is a bad, bad innings to fail in - next session after lunch is a big one for the South Africans. They can still rescue themselves but they need to be lucky and good.

Markram 37
de Kock 0
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
130/4

Markram 60
De Kock 32

both need to score 100's here
Yep, but nobody managed one!

SA have rallied not too bad though, and stand at 222/9 which is defendable. Let's see how the SA attack operates on this pitch. They're in the final session with SL desperate for that final wicket.

They've lost Lasith Embuldeniya though, whose finger appeared crumpled in a caught and bowled chance.

The game is very much afoot.
 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
SA didn't add to the 222 they had last time I checked in, 222 all out. Just gave Sri Lanka that awkward spell at the end of the day to bat out and it didn't go so well.

Sri Lanka 66/3

Thirimmane 25
Rajitha 0
 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
South African attack goes through the Sri Lankan batting like pigs through bone with everyone but the excellent Dickwella (42) disgracing themselves.

Rabada was full of devil and took four wickets.

South Africa sit at 10-1 and lead by 78 runs. Test is over.

4231

Or is it?
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Another absolutely fantastic day's cricket with more wickets than I could count tumbling as SA collapsed to a miserable 128 all out; Captain du Pleiss was left isolated and furious not out on fifty as the batting collapsed around him. It was an unbelievable watch.

Lakmal, SL's talisman in any other series, did the majority of the damage taking 4 for 39 at an economy of 2.4.

This left Sri Lanka needing 190 to win on an unforgiving pitch that is turning in earnest a man down (That second day injury). It's going to be very very difficult but they are 60-2 and have 8 wickets in hand to make 137. That reads OK but the favourites right now should be SA. Tomorrow's first session is a can't miss.
 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Exciting stuff already this morning.

Olivier thrown down multiple jaffas; Fernando, in the mood, took nine off the last over. Not sure how to feel about that - SL can score at one run an over and they'll get there, there is zero rush. More leaving, more dot balls Sri Lanka! But probably not. Currently on 73, 97 is a big number - that will leave them needing a hundred.

Every 10 runs added and, when they come, every wicket taken, is going to change the feel of this test match.

SL are 73-2 and require 124 more runs to win.

O Fernando 25
Mendes 15
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Sri Lanka have the 97 - in fact, they have the 100 and now require 97. They are scoring fast and seem unperturbed by this vicious SA attack. To break 100 Mendis played a gorgeous drive almost as though he were in the nets rather than in a maximum pressure test situation. Four more as I type.

Sri Lanka are now favourites. They need 90 odd with 8 wickets in hand. They had five in hand needing the same number in that last miracle test.

To put this in context: SA are world #2 and were regarded as the only meaningful challengers to India's #1 status. Sri Lanka are nowhere, moribund by accusations of corruption and with injuries - arguably their two best players are missing. They had lost 8 tests in a row coming in.

No Asian side - ever - has won a series in SA. Think of all the great teams down the years.

As has so often been the case, SA have turned to Steyn in times of trouble; well Steyn just got hit about by a very relaxed Mendis who has now overtaken Fernando. Both look in great nick

Sri Lanka are 108-2 and need 89 more runs. They are now favourites.

Fernando 32
Mendes 36
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Oshada Fernando makes his fifty, reaches fifty runs in his first test match. Very well done that man. No danger he would have played had Mathews been fit; now he's going to be instrumental in a Sri Lankan 2-0 series victory over South Africa. Because we are at that point. Barring wild disaster (and nothing is impossible with SL), they are going to win this test and the series.

Sri Lanka are 138-2. They need 60 to win.

Fernando 50
Mendes 54

It's bizarre how they have just gently out-manned the SA bowling this morning. It's been easy. No challenge.
 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Malfunction: does not compute.

Sri Lanka crush South Africa 2-0. In this test match they looked done but skittled SA for a pitiful second innings score, the key man likely the find of the series, Bowler Fernando. Batter Fernando may have something to say about that - he's hit not out 75, chumming Mendis who struck an equally impressive not out 84. The two of them were this morning at not time troubled.

Soon, you have to think about: is the SA attack that good? What's going on with the SL batting line up? Do they really have this strength in depth in the bowling? Who else could beat SA without their best player, have they turned?

Today though, you just got to sit back in awe at:

The first victory for Sri Lanka in South Africa
The first victory for a sub-continent side in South Africa
The GOAT innings of all time, arguably
Two brilliant test-matches to which both teams contributed in the surprise series of the decade.

Test cricket thrills and surprises again.

No question about who will win man of the series, but there have been some great performances from Sri Lanka in this series.
 
Reactions: dmt

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
Captain du Plessis: "Very disappointing...you don't want to lose tests at home. But congratulations to the tourists...we were poor with the bat throughout the series...both teams probably under-performed with the bat. Two pitches conducive for runs...on this wicket we should have scored more runs. The biggest disappointment lies with the team and the batting. 99% of the dismissals were soft shot selection...massive dent [to our status]. We were playing aggressive winning cricket...we didn't take them for granted. Not on it as a team...Big five months coming up for us. Make sure our preparation isn't taken for granted...the guys should be very motivated for what lies ahead. One series, then the world cup."

He's hurting.
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
6,631
3,045
MOTM is Mendis, tough on Batting Fernando that, but he did score a few more runs. 13 fours in his 84, 100 runs in the match.
 
Reactions: dmt