About the Match
The third day of the Cape Town test provided further proof that the Sri Lankan batsmen have yet to fully come to terms with the conditions on offer. Before that, though, South Africa indulged in some batting practice for two sessions and left Sri Lanka a target that was, all things considered, unattainable.
Day 4 Preview
This match could have been over on the third day itself had South Africa decided to enforce the follow-on. Not much was achieved by not putting Sri Lanka into bat again except for the fact that the South African bowlers got some rest before their second innings.
None of the South African batsmen really made full use of the second innings batting effort with Elgar the only one going on to make a fifty, but it is Hashim Amla’s continued batting slump that will trouble the South Africans.
How many more chances will the legend be afforded before a tough decision has to be taken?
Sri Lanka lost four top-order wickets by the close of play and will resume from 130 for 4. They are 377 runs short of their target with Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal at the crease. Both of these players are Sri Lanka’s senior most batsmen and the fact that they bat at 5 and 6 has hurt the team.
The top 4 are very inexperienced and keep on making the same kind of mistakes time and again. Mathews, Chandimal, and Tharanga to follow have the experience to curb their natural game and wait for the loose deliveries which players like Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva have failed to do.
Day 4 is now all about how much Sri Lanka can stretch their second innings. The first session is going to be crucial and Vernon Philander will be the main threat once again. He has been in fantastic form and would want to wrap things up quickly like he did in the first test.
Both Philander and Rabada have taken two wickets each and we would have to back Philander as the bowler most likely to pick up the most wickets in this innings. Kyle Abbott, who may be playing his last game for South Africa, has been bowling an excellent line and length without picking up wickets.
With so much speculation about his future, it is possible that he may be distracted by events around him.
Keshav Maharaj bowled exactly the same number of overs as the other fast bowlers around him but he can be expected to bowl for much longer periods tomorrow. The Sri Lankans have tried to attack him and thus he has created wicket taking opportunities for his team.
Sri Lanka is looking at another massive defeat here in South Africa and it does not look like they have mush left in the tank to improve for the third test either. A bet on them being dismissed for less than 250 should be a safe one considering their current form and that of the bowlers they will be facing