About the Match
Day 2 of the test between South Africa and Sri Lanka started off excellently for the visitors but they were struggling at 181 for 7 by the end of the day. There were opportunities lost for both teams and the third day will provide them a chance to take a decisive superiority once again.
Day 3 Preview
Sri Lanka has the very impressive Dhananjaya de Silva on the crease batting on 43 with Dushmantha Chameera who is a bonafide tailender. Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep to follow are also pretty hopeless with the bat so any runs that come from this point in have to come from the bat of Dhananjaya de Silva.
The youngster is already the highest scorer for Sri Lanka in this innings and benefitted greatly from a tiring bowling attack at the end of day 2. The first session on Day 3 though will bring with it a different challenge altogether and Sri Lanka could find themselves bowled out quite quickly.
A bet on Sri Lanka getting bowled out under 210 could be a profitable one for punters.
Dhananjaya de Silva is a very aggressive batsman and will probably look to dominate the bowlers while he is on the crease so South Africa will not bowl Keshav Maharaj until absolutely needed. This leaves Philander, Abbot, and Rabada to fight for the remaining three wickets.
Philander has been very successful against the top order throughout his career but the extra pace of Rabada and Abbot make them a bigger threat to the lower order batsmen. We think Abbot is poised well to be the highest wicket taker of the innings.
South Africa will bat at some time on Day three, possibly even in the first session. With two whole days left in the test, they have plenty of time to try and build a huge lead and then bowl with relentless pressure at Sri Lanka.
The second innings might provide a good opportunity for South African batsmen to score quickly with nothing to lose. Dean Elgar and Stephan Cook have not convinced us of their long term standing as openers and we do not think that will score too many in the second innings as well.
Hashim Amla looked horrendously out of touch in the first innings and found it difficult to score any runs. That time spent in the middle though would have done him a world of good and we back him to return to form in this innings.
Back Amla to get the highest second innings total.
Duminy looked very fluent in the first innings but got out playing a needless shot. His place in the test team is under threat when de Villiers returns and so he would be desperate to get a big total. He may not have the time he needs though in this innings to get that score.
Suranga Lakmal bowled with a lot of skill in the first innings and he is easily the best bet to take the most wickets in the second innings as well.
The situation that the match is placed in though makes it very difficult to see any other result than a South African victory.