Colombo - Sri Lanka on Monday completed a 2-0 Test sweep of South Africa to record their first series win over the Proteas since 2006 after Rangana Herath wreaked havoc with six wickets.
As it happened: Sri Lanka v SA, 2nd Test
The visitors were all out for 290 in the second session of day four
in Colombo, 200 runs short of the highly improbable winning target of
490 on a bone-dry wicket.
It was South Africa's first Test whitewash since they went down in
the island nation 2-0 in a two-match series almost 12 years ago.
Sri Lanka had wrapped up the first Test in Galle within three days,
reducing South Africa to 73 in the second innings - their lowest Test
total since the nation's post-apartheid readmission to international
"Right through the series we didn't have that ability to score
partnerships. I think we only had three partnerships of 50 and above the
whole series," Faf du Plessis, South Africa's crestfallen skipper, said
"But once again you have to give credit to the opposition. They were
able to put us under pressure for long periods of time and therefore we
made a lot of mistakes."
In the second Test, Sri Lanka scored 338 in their first innings and
South Africa could only respond with 124 as versatile off-spinner Akila
Dananjaya made hay, taking five wickets.
The hosts then scored 275 for five before declaring halfway through
the afternoon session on day three, setting the visitors a highly
improbable victory target.
They were already five wickets down for 139 at stumps on Sunday, with
Dananjaya dismissing du Plessis for seven and left-arm spinner Herath
getting Hashim Amla for six.
The South African wickets fell despite a comedy of errors from Sri
Lanka, who dropped two catches, wasted both their reviews - on
successive balls - and could have had Dean Elgar out twice beforehand
had Perera not overstepped.
Theunis de Bruyn and
Temba Bavuma kept the Sri Lankan spinners at bay for most of the first
session on Monday, putting on a valiant sixth-wicket stand of 123.
Their partnership was South Africa's best ever in a fourth innings in
Asia, and was by a distance their biggest of the series, the previous
best having been worth only 64.
De Bruyn was especially impressive, sweeping judiciously and
defending doggedly on a tough surface, while Bavuma was also adept at
picking gaps on the leg side and rotating the strike.
Bavuma's resistance ended just after he was caught behind off Herath
for 63. The left-arm spinner also had wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de
Kock lbw for eight on the stroke of lunch.
"I don't think we play spin badly, but if you compare yourself to the
subcontinent batters, then they're obviously a step above us in that
regard," du Plessis told reporters.
"That's where the challenge lies for the South Africa's and the England's and the Australia's of the world."
After lunch, de Bruyn recorded his maiden century - South Africa's only one of the series - but was bowled by Herath for 101.
"Worked very hard and these are the results of that. Sri Lanka has
some of the best spinners in the world and that's why we bothered the
South African batsmen," Sri Lanka's stand-in-captain Suranga Lakmal
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will take particular joy in this victory, as it
came in the absence of their regular captain and middle-order batsman
Dinesh Chandimal, who was suspended following a ball-tampering scandal.
The home side's coach Chandika Hathurusingha was also not allowed to
be in the team dressing room during match days after being sanctioned
over the same incident.
The two teams will now head into the limited-overs series with the
first of the five one-day internationals scheduled for Sunday in
Sri Lanka also await England for a full series in October-November
while South Africa tour Australia for three ODIs and one Twenty20 in