About the Match
The first day of test cricket saw some absorbing action between South Africa and Sri Lanka. The Home team won the toss and elected to bat first getting off to an ideal start. With no wickets lost in the first session and a century opening partnership on the board, South Africa had Sri Lanka on the mat. The Lankan though fought back and by the end of the day would have been more than happy at having South Africa 267 for 6.
Day 2 Preview
The importance of the first session of a day’s play is often clichéd but that is exactly what holds true tomorrow. After squandering a perfect start, South African batsmen kept getting in and throwing it away.
Sri Lanka’s bowling was excellent, to be honest, and only Duminy could have been faulted for playing an unnecessary shot.
The batsmen on the crease tomorrow, Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander are both capable of scoring quick runs. De Kock has been brilliant over the last few months and has become adept at shepherding the tail.
Back him to get a score of above 70 if he survives the first ten minutes.
Sri Lanka though will have no intention of letting these two batsmen survive and will look to keep South Africa under 350. That total will be just about par and keeps Sri Lanka in the game. The pitch at St. George’s park has been greener than usual and as a result had more movement than what many experts had predicted.
South African bowlers are much better suited to exploiting this condition and so Sri Lanka may find it difficult to make enough runs when they get their chance. Considering that this is the first time that Sri Lanka will be facing a test attack on this tour, we don’t think that Sri Lanka will cross a total of 250.
The job of mopping up the tail will be left primarily to Ranagana Herath and Suranga Lakmal. Both the bowlers shared 6 wickets among themselves, however, we think that Herath with his two wickets is a better bet for top wicket taker of the innings.
Herath is very effective against the lower order batsmen with his variation and South Africa’s remaining batsmen do not seem particularly adept at facing the slower bowlers.
One of the batsmen to look out for when Sri Lanka do get a chance to bat is Dinesh Chandimal. His test form has been very good after a recent run of fifties and his preference for the quick, bouncy deliveries makes him the most likely to top score for the Sri Lankans.
The Sri Lankans have found themselves in a better position than anyone could have imagined after the first session of play but they are not out of the woods yet. Their weaker suit, batting abroad, still has to be tested against the South African attack and we think that the Proteas have too much quality in their side to lose this match.
The match sits evenly right now but we are still backing South Africa to win this one easily.
Winner: South Africa, N/A @ Bet on South Africa now