South Africa completed a comprehensive win over Srilanka by 206 runs in the first Test match of the series played at St.George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. The first Test provided a good contest between bat and ball as the hosts’ superior bowling turned to be the difference while the visitors were bundled out for 200 runs in the first innings.
The last day of the Test saw South African frontline seamers Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott put in an inspirational performance with the ball to dismiss Srilanka for 281 runs after the side resumed the day at 240 for 5 with Angelo Matthews and Dhananjaya de Silva still at the crease. Matthew fell early as he was trapped leg before by Abbott who claimed his first wicket of the innings for South Africa. He also got Dhananjaya de Silva for 22 runs to see South Africa edge close to yet another victory.
Kagiso Rabada did put in an extra effort to dismiss Chameera for a duck by bowling a short-pitch delivery only for the catch to be taken safely by wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock. Maharaj then came into the attack and bowled Nuwan Pradeep to see the side complete yet another win in a space of 14 overs.
Earlier in the game, South Africa won the toss and batted first on a surface that provided help for the bowlers. Suranga Lakmal got a five-wicket haul to see hosts fold for 286 runs as JP Duminy top-scored with 63 runs for the side. Srilanka, in reply, fell like a pack of cards to get dismissed for 205 runs. Dhananjaya de Silva top-scored for the side with 43 runs as the rest of the batting lineup could not muster any substantial score. Vernon Philander claimed yet another five-wicket haul after making a comeback from injury this season.
South Africa came out to bat in the second innings and put in a better performance to score 406 runs from 90 overs . Stephen Cook went on to score his third century of his career after being under the radar due to poor form in Australia. Faf du Plessis and de Kock also chipped in with crucial half centuries to see the hosts post a target of 488 runs for Srilanka to win the game.
However, Srilanka did put in a better display with the bat in the second innings as openers played well followed by good knocks by Kusal Mendis and Angelo Matthews. The hosts have nonetheless taken a 1-0 lead in the series before the second game of the series which will be played at Newlands, Cape Town.