South Africa gives in to Murali

Muttiah Muralitharan picked up six scalps, ending with 10 for the match, as Sri Lanka completed a mammoth innings and 153-run victory over South Africa.

The tourists began the day at 311-4, with six wickets remaining, and hope of batting out all the three sessions, especially after the gritty performance from the top order yesterday. But, Muralitharan had different ideas. He struck, often, and unfortunately for South Africa, early.

Ashwell Prince and Herschelle Gibbs were back in the pavilion in the first session itself. The captain was dismissed after he had added just one run to his overnight score, when he was caught in the slips, quite low, by his counterpart Mahela Jayawardene.

Gibbs, who didn’t open the innings as he was ill yesterday, looked to be getting set in, before he too was removed, off a simple full toss, which he managed to hit straight back to Muralitharan.

The off-spinner followed up with another two wickets soon after lunch, those of Dale Steyn and Andre Nel, after Sanath Jayasuriya removed Mark Boucher, caught and bowled, after the wicket-keeper had made a tenacious 85.

The last-wicket partnership offered some resistance though, with Nicky Boje trying to face as much of the music as possible, whereas in between Makhaya Ntini had some lusty blows. Ntini couldn’t last for long though, as a change in pace, brought with the introduction of Lasith Malinga into the bowling, resulted in his wicket, and the win for the hosts.

The two sides battle again in the second Test now starting Friday, with South Africa hoping to improve their performance, especially after sticking in with the batting yesterday.

South Africa 169 and 434 all out
JA Rudolph 90, AJ Hall 64, AG Prince 61, MV Boucher 85
CRD Fernando 2-69, M Muralitharan 6-131

Sri Lanka 756-5
KC Sangakkara 287, DMPG Jayawardene 374
DW Steyn 3-129

Sri Lanka won by an innings and 153 runs.

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Sudeep Popat