Cape Town - The Proteas bowlers have braced themselves for a hard toil in search of victory on the last day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The second new ball holds the key to the remaining five wickets, on a pitch that seems to have become easier to bat on as the match has progressed.
Left arm spinner, Keshav Maharaj, executed a superb holding job to pick up 2/84 in only his third Test match, and hopes to continue with his supportive role in the seam dominated match.
“We spoke about it earlier, it’s not going to be an easy task, the pitch has gotten better,” he said after the day’s play. “We decided to invest and toil, I just want to support the fast bowlers, in the first innings they played a massive role. I want to stick to my basics and try to hit my lengths, hopefully the pitch can assist me from there.
“The pitch has gotten better over the five days,” he added. “The ball got soft so it made it a little bit more difficult to bowl with. With the older ball we tried to invest and hopefully with this new ball we can open up an avenue tomorrow morning.”
The match remains in the balance with Sri Lankan captain, Angelo Mathews (58 not out), leading the fight towards a record run chase, but the Proteas remain confident of victory, even if it comes in the last session of an entertaining Test match.
“No Test match is easy,” Maharaj said. “Especially against Sri Lanka at home, the wicket has gotten better. We are not counting our chickens before they hatch, we are looking to win in the last session of the final day. If something comes earlier then that will be a bonus for us.”