Sri Lanka’s flattering and faltering shaky fortunes of its ICC Test Championship tour of South Africa came to a predictably grinding end in a nose dive inside of 90 minutes from the overnight 150 for 4 to 211 despite a captain’s workmanlike century of 103 by Dimuth Karunaratne as South Africa sped to 67 for no loss for a 10-wicket triumph accentuated by the demolition just short of two sessions to spare to take the series 2-nil at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.
If exorcising the ghosts of defeat from two series’ at the hands of the Sri Lankans in an overly 2-year series winless barren run was the overflowing ecstasy for the South Africans under makeshift skipper Quinton de Kock, it was the agony of surrendering the hitherto dominating groove Dimuth Karunaratne’s men had basked in from a home series and in the Proteas own backyard thrashing insulation. That in that ebbing out the Lankan skipper was left staring from the black end of defeat that dimmed what was the high anointing of carving a dream three figure mark off the South Africans most warring venue where Asian batsmen have come a cropper was the emotional side to a praiseworthy innings. Indeed, the short lived joy for the Lankan skipper of battling out to a thus magical century was a cricketing chapter that the game of cricket is known to generate for its glorious uncertainties.
All in all, while Karunaratne had scripted a new chapter highlighted by 19 boundaries from the dark of a poor run in a dozen innings in South Africa in a personally conquering role, that it was to be dimmed by the terrible defeat bordered on the sentimental for a side ruing the injury put out of seven of its top players.
Dean Elgar was adjudged double awards of Player of the Match and Player of the Series in the Protea comeback to winning ways from hibernation.
SRI LANKA 157 (40.3 Overs) RR: 3.89
(Kusal Janith Perera 67, Lahiru Thirimanne 17, Wanindu Hasaranga 29, Dushmantha Chameera 22, Anrich Nortje 6/56, Wiaam Mulder 3/25)
And 150/4 O/N, 211 (56.5 Overs) RR: 3.84
(Dimuth Karunaratne 103, Niroshan Dickwella 36, Lahiru Thirimanne 31, Wanindu Hasaranga 16, Lungi Ngidi 4/44, Lutho Sipamla 3/40, Anrich Nortje 2/64, Wiaan Mulder 1/52)
SOUTH AFRICA 302 (75.4 Overs) RR: 4.00
(Dean Elgar 127, Rassie van der Dussen 67, Temba Bavuma 19, Lungdi Ngidi n.o. 14, Anrich Nortje 13, Quinton de Kock 10, Asitha Fernando 5/101, Dasun Shanaka 2/42, Asitha Fernando 2/61, Dushmantha Chameera 1/53)
(Aiden Markram n.o. 36, Dean Elgar n.o. 31)