Sri Lanka in SA

SL content with one Test win

2012-01-07 11:39
Tillakaratne Dilshan (File)
Cape Town - Despite losing the third Test in Cape Town on Friday, and the series, Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan was still smiling after achieving his goal of winning a Test on South African soil.

"Before we came here, everyone thought we couldn't win a Test outside Sri Lanka," Dilshan said.

"After Murali [retired spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan], people said we couldn't take 20 wickets, but now everyone knows we can do both."

Having come off a high from their win in the second Test in Durban, the series was poised for an exciting decider in Cape Town, but the Sri Lankans proved unworthy of the task.

"As a team, we have to take the blame," said the skipper.

"We had a good chance to draw the series but we haven't been bowling and batting consistently."

Adamant that he'd made the right decision to field first at Newlands, Dilshan blamed his bowlers for not following a plan and believed it might have been a different story if they had taken their opportunities at the start of the match.

After Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla were dismissed cheaply in South Africa's first innings, Jacques Kallis was peppered with short balls and looked uncomfortable against Dhammika Prasad.

When he only had one run to his name, Kallis skied a ball to fine leg but fielder Chanaka Welegedara did not see it and the ball bounced in front of him, frustrating the tourists who could have had the opposition in trouble at 60 for three.

Instead, Kallis went on to achieve his highest test score of 224 and steer South Africa to 580 for four declared.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 239 in their first innings and forced to follow-on. With the deficit down to 203, they still carried some hope that they could make the hosts bat again.

"If [Thilan] Samaraweera and Angelo [Matthews] could bat all day, we thought we could put pressure on the South African batsmen," Dilshan said.

The pair survived the morning session on the fourth day, but Mathews was dismissed after lunch and the innings disintegrated.

The Proteas eventually needed only two runs in their second innings and went on to win by 10 wickets, securing a 2-1 series victory.

Samaraweera made an unbeaten 115 and became the third batsman from the sub-continent, after Azhar Mahmood and Sachin Tendulkar, to score twin hundreds in South Africa.

It was a welcome return for the middle-order batsman after he had been dropped for Sri Lanka's previous series against Pakistan.

"Samaraweera has batted really well," Dilshan said.

"When we went to Pakistan, we tried to give the youngsters a chance but it didn't work so we brought him back.

"He is experienced and an important player for the middle order."

Of more concern to Sri Lanka is the way their top order performed in the three-match series.

Kumar Sangakkara made one century but otherwise barely reached double figures while Mahela Jayawardene, who has not scored a half-century outside of Sri Lanka since 2009, had a highest score of 31.

"It's a big issue at the moment because Mahela is one of the main batsmen," Dilshan said.

"Unfortunately he didn't click but I still feel he is close to coming back."

While Dilshan was ready to blame the youngsters in the side for not giving 100 percent, he side-stepped the issue of his own batting.

"I got a good start," he said, referring to his 78 off 79 balls in the first innings of the New Year's Test.

"I should have got 100 or 150 runs but I mishit.

"I should have batted a little longer and the second day might have been different."

Although not setting the best example, Dilshan expected more from the middle and lower order.

"We looked at the way Dale Steyn batted with AB de Villiers and our bowlers should learn from that," Dilshan said.

"They have to show the right attitude. Our bowlers are playing for the country and we need to get 100 percent out of them.

"We can't wait any longer now."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Kallis stars in IPL opener

2014-04-16 21:03

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
06 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Colombo 06:15
09 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium 11:00
12 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Hambantota 06:15
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Which of SA's sporting codes is in the worst shape after recent scandals?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.