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Cricket: South Africa thrash Sri Lanka to claim series win

South Africa thrash Sri Lanka in Cape Town to claim series win

South Africa completed a series victory over Sri Lanka with a 10-wicket win in the decisive third Test in Cape Town.

Sri Lanka resumed on 138 for four, still 203 runs behind having followed on, but were given hope when Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews batted through the fourth morning.

Their stand of 142 was ended when Mathews was trapped lbw for 63 by a Vernon Philander delivery which kept low and, although Samaraweera (115 not out) completed a second century in successive Tests, that wicket was the beginning of the end and they were bowled out for 342.

Victory: Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith pose with their trophies after claiming a comfortable win in Cape Town

Victory: Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith pose with their trophies after claiming a comfortable win in Cape Town

That left the hosts with just two to chase and, after tea was taken despite the meagre chase in prospect, Alviro Petersen returned to punch a Dhammika Prasad no-ball for four.

South Africa v Sri Lanka

Click here for full scorecard from third Test

After a brisk start, Samaraweera survived a referral when Dale Steyn's caught-behind appeal was turned down, replays supporting the verdict that the ball came off the thigh pad alone.

The batsmen continued to make solid progress and Samaraweera steered Imran Tahir past the slips for two to reach a deserved half-century. But he had a let-off when he set off for a run but was sent back by Mathews, and had given up on making his ground by the time Morne Morkel's throw from point flashed just past the stumps.

The hundred partnership came up when Samaraweera swept Tahir for four, before Mathews brought up his seventh Test half-century with a single to mid-wicket off Steyn.

Despite a couple of loose shots outside off stump, and Philander's vociferous lbw appeal against Mathews from the last ball before lunch, the pair survived to the interval.

The stand was a record for Sri Lanka's fifth wicket against South Africa, and another landmark arose when Samaraweera plundered 14 runs from the second over after lunch to reach 300 in the three-match series. But Mathews was soon sent on his way for 63, after a futile referral, as Philander's short-pitched ball kept almost unplayably low and struck him in front of off stump.

Ton up: Thilan Samaraweera celebrates after reaching his century

Ton up: Thilan Samaraweera celebrates after reaching his century

New man Dinesh Chandimal made just one
before fencing Philander to second slip where man of the match Jacques
Kallis reacted superbly to take a good catch.

But Samaraweera reached three figures with a cut behind square off Tahir for his 13th boundary, from his 201st delivery. His stand with Thisara Perera passed 50, and the team total reached 300 for six, courtesy of the wildest five wides imaginable from Steyn but Perera's contribution ended at 30 when he hoisted Tahir to Morkel at long-on.

rasad almost went the same way but Morkel this time grassed the chance. Prasad continued to swing lustily, though, and when he advanced out of his ground against Tahir he was stumped by Mark Boucher for 16.
That brought last man Chanaka Welegedara to the wicket with his side still 14 in arrears, and he was fortunate to cut the deficit to 10 as Graeme Smith got a hand to his lofted drive.

But he then blazed Kallis for four over cover and then dumped him into the sightscreen to stave off a second innings defeat of the series – before losing his leg stump to leave the target at just two.

Samaraweera was stranded on 115 not out while Philander took three for 54, Jacques Kallis recorded figures of three for 35 despite Welegedara's onslaught and Imran Tahir bagged three for 106.

After the needless break, South Africa completed the shortest chase on record when Petersen drove an opening no-ball from Prasad for four, meaning the target was reached without a legitimate delivery being bowled.

Rangana Herath spins Sri Lanka to first victory in 15 Tests

Herath spins Sri Lanka to first victory in 15 Tests to set up decider with Proteas in Cape Town

Sri Lanka levelled their series in South Africa with victory by 208 runs on the fourth day of the second Test at Durban.

Set an imposing 450 to win and clinch the three-match series, the hosts were dismissed for 241, with only AB de Villiers (69) and Dale Steyn (43) – who put on 99 for the seventh wicket – offering much resistance.

Rangana Herath took five wickets for 79 runs to seal a first Test win for Sri Lanka since the retirement of legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and set the stage for a thrilling decider in Cape Town next week.

Breakthrough: Sri Lanka ended a streak of 15 tests without a win

Breakthrough: Sri Lanka ended a streak of 15 tests without a win

The penultimate day at Kingsmead startedwith the tourists taking their overnight total of 256 for seven on to 279, with Steyn taking his innings figures to five for 73.

Thisara Perera edged Steyn to Jacques Kallis at second slip for 12, Chanaka Welegedara hit 10 before despatching the fourth ball he faced to Hashim Amla, then Dilhara Fernando lobbed a Morne Morkel delivery to Ashwell Prince at gully to depart for three and end the innings.

Welegedara almost gave Sri Lanka the perfect start to the second South African innings when he induced an edge from Jacques Rudolph, but Angelo Mathews was unable to claim a one-handed catch diving to his left at slip.

Graeme Smith survived an lbw appeal from Perera in the sixth over before fencing a short delivery from Fernando to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip, succumbing for 26 with the scoreboard reading 37.

Spin king: Rangana Herath (left) picked up five second innings wickets

Spin king: Rangana Herath (left) picked up five second innings wickets

There were no further scares as Rudolph and Amla led the team to lunch on 86 for one – but the afternoon sessionsaw five wickets fall for 45 runs in 23 overs.

Within four balls of the resumption Rudolph was on his way for 22, caught by Jayawardene off Perera.

Kallis followed 19 balls later without scoring, completing a first Test pair when he top-edged a Herath delivery to short leg, where Tharanga Paranavitana took the catch.

It was 106 for four in the 34th over when Amla was run out for 51, pushing down the ground and calling for a single Prince chose not to take.

Decider: The two sides meet in Cape Town in the final Test of the three-match series

Decider: The two sides meet in Cape Town in the final Test of the three-match series

Prince followed for seven, when he fended a short Fernando delivery to Paranavitana at first slip – and it was 133 for six when Mark Boucher was trapped lbw by Herath for seven.

De Villiers and Steyn dug in for more than 34 overs before the former was trapped lbw for a 141-ball 69 by Herath with the scoreboard reading 232.

The end was nigh soon after when Morkel was out lbw to Tillakaratne Dilshan for five, before Steyn”s 125-ball contribution ended in similar fashion.

The contest was over when Marchant de Lange – who took eight wickets on his Test debut – became the third wicket to fall on 241 when he was bowled second ball by Herath, who finished with match figures of nine for 128.

Sri Lanka set to level series against South Africa

Sangakkara shines as Sri Lanka look set to level series against South Africa

Star: Kumar Sangakkara hit a century

Star: Kumar Sangakkara hit a century

Sri Lanka look well placed to level their three-match series against South Africa after claiming a 426-run lead by the close of play on day three of the second Test in Durban.

The tourists were indebted to a 28th Test ton from Kumar Sangakkara – dropped on three by Proteas captain Graeme Smith in the first over of the day – and a second half-century in as many innings by brilliant debutant Dinesh Chandimal as they reached 256 for seven when bad light stopped play at Kingsmead.

South Africa won the opening Test by an innings and 81 runs in Centurion, but it now looks as though the series will be decided in Cape Town early in the new year.

Sri Lanka resumed this morning on seven for one, a lead of 177 after bowling their hosts out for 168 on day two, with rain forcing a delay to the start of play.

They very nearly lost Sangakkara immediately as he edged behind off Morne Morkel, but Smith was distracted by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and fumbled.

Sangakkara took advantage to plough on and opener Tharanga Paranavitana struck successive boundaries off Morkel before debutant Marchant de Lange opened with a maiden over.

Morkel finally got some reward for his good line and length as Paranavitana”s thick edge was well held by Ashwell Prince at fourth slip to leave the score at 20 for two, bringing Mahela Jayawardene to the crease.

He did his utmost to settle Sri Lanka down as he flicked a Morkel delivery through midwicket to the boundary.

Finally: South Africa

Finally: South Africa”s Imran Tahir celebrates the wicket of Sangakkara

Dale Steyn returned to the attack andalmost accounted for Jayawardene, whose edge behind fell just short of the slips, before the same batsman took Sri Lanka”s lead past 200 with another boundary.

However, he was gone for 14 as he padded up to a De Lange delivery. Sri Lanka reviewed the decision but the ball was bound for the top of the stumps and the tourists were now 44 for three.

First-innings centurion Thilan Samaraweera was the next man in and he played a risky nudge down to backward square leg which only just eluded the diving Hashim Amla, but he was able to bed down well with Sangakkara as the pair took Sri Lanka”s second innings into three figures.

Sangakkara brought up his 50 off 102 balls with an angled drive down to third man off Morkel, which was going for four until Imran Tahir slid in to ultimately save two runs.

South Africa finally made another breakthrough as Tahir dismissed Samaraweera for 43, who edged the ball onto his pad and into his off stump to make it 138 for four.

Bright future: Dinesh Chandimal also impressed for Sri Lanka

Bright future: Dinesh Chandimal also impressed for Sri Lanka

Angelo Mathews made just three beforehe swiped at a Steyn bouncer and Boucher took a comfortable catch to give South Africa brief hope at 141 for five, but Sangakkara again brought stability to the tourists” innings.

His12th four came up off Jacques Kallis to move him to 95, and he then progressed to 99 off the next ball with another boundary, flicking the ball to midwicket. He brought up the ton off 161 balls, striking two offthe final delivery of the same Kallis over, and ended the session alongside Chandimal, who was 23 not out.

Chandimalset the pace after tea and survived a run-out chance when AB de Villiers was off target with his shy at the stumps, conceding four overthrows. Chandimal made it two half-centuries from as many Test innings in the 65th over but was gone for 54 when he edged a Steyn ball behind.

Sangakkara”s wicketwas finally claimed by Tahir as the Sri Lanka batsman holed out to Smith at deep mid-on for 108, having faced 190 balls.

RanganaHerath (five not out) and Thisara Perera (six not out) came together before bad light forced the teams off in the 71st over.

Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn impress for South Africa against Sri Lanka in first Test

Steyn snares 250th Test wicket as South Africa bully Sri Lanka in first Test

Dale Steyn became the second quickest bowler to 250 wickets as South Africa assumed complete control after just one day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

Steyn reached the milestone, in his 49th Test, in the fifth over of the day when Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan attempted an awful slog.

It set the tone for a poor batting display from the tourists as they were bundled out for 180 just before tea with Steyn and Vernon Philander sharing nine wickets on a green-tinged wicket.

Milestone: Dale Steyn (centre) reached 250 wickets in a typically zippy spell

Milestone: Dale Steyn (centre) reached 250 wickets in a typically zippy spell

Philander just about overshadowed his new-ball partner’s milestone as he claimed his third five-wicket haul, in just his third Test, in returning figures of five for 53.

Steyn, who reached the 250-wicket mark having played one more Test than former Australia quick Dennis Lillee, claimed four for 18 and will be on a hat-trick in the second innings after wrapping up another Sri Lankan lower-order collapse.

South Africa then confirmed their dominance in reaching stumps on 90 for one, with skipper Graeme Smith (61) falling lbw to Dilhara Fernando in the penultimate over before the close.

Smith, though, could reflect on a wholly satisfying day that vindicated his decision to send the tourists in to bat.

Hot: Philander was in red-hot form

Blistering spell: Philander was in red-hot form

Philander and Steyn ensured that decision was a good one with a blistering display of fast bowling.

They were initially aided by the poor batsmanship of Dilshan, who recklessly attempted to thrash Steyn away, only to gift him his 250th wicket with a top-edge that Philander held at mid-wicket.

Philander then claimed the key scalp of Kumar Sangakkara for just one, when he induced one of his four edges behind the wicket, which was gleefully held by Jacques Kallis.

A 54-run stand between Mahela Jayawardene and Tharanga Paranavitana followed before the opener was bowled by Philander to leave Sri Lanka 76 for three at lunch.

Jayawardene fell quickly after the resumption, when he edged Philander to Smith at slip for 30, to leave him 16 runs shy of becoming the first Sri Lankan to 10,000 Test runs.

His departure left Sri Lanka teetering, with their brittle tail almost exposed, but Thilan Samaraweera and Mathews responded to combine for some much-required resistence.

Their stand had realised 65 runs before Philander struck again, forcing an edge from Samaraweera through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Out: Steyn bowls out Sri Lanka

Out: Steyn bowls out Sri Lanka”s Dilhara Fernando

They had been thrust together at 12 for two, after Steyn first removed skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan to bag his 250th wicket in his 49th Test – the opener paid the price for a poorshot and was snapped up by Philander at mid-wicket.

Philander then took the key wicket of Kumar Sangakkara for just one, outside-edging to Jacques Kallis at second slip.

A 54-run stand between Jayawardene and Paranavitana followed before the opener was bowled by Philander to leave Sri Lanka 76 for three at lunch.

Jayawardene fell quickly after the resumption, when he edged Philander to Smith at slip for 30, to leave him 16 runs shy of becoming the first Sri Lankan to 10,000 Test runs.

His departure left Sri Lanka teetering, with their brittle tail almost exposed, but Thilan Samaraweera and Mathews responded to combine for some much-required resistance.

Their stand had realised 65 runs before Philander struck again, forcing an edge from Samaraweera through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Philander then struck again next ball, when Kaushal Silva edged through to Boucher, and from then on the Sri Lankan tail again folded as the last six wickets fell for 24 runs.