Sri Lanka on top after ‘tough’ day for South Africa in second Test

It was a good day for the Sri Lanka bowlers at St George's Park. (AFP)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Sri Lanka on top after ‘tough’ day for South Africa in second Test

  • 13 wickets fall during a dramatic first day in Port Elizabeth.
  • Proteas batsman Aiden Markram admits conditions were tough as hosts seek to come back from 1-0 down.

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA: South African opening batsman Aiden Markram said conditions were difficult for batsmen after 13 wickets fell on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at St. George’s Park on Thursday.
Sri Lanka were 60 for three at the close after bowling out South Africa for 222, an innings which owed much to a sparkling 86 off 87 balls by Quinton de Kock.
The tourists suffered a blow when left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya sustained a badly dislocated left thumb in trying to take a sharp return catch from Kagiso Rabada, an injury which is expected to keep him out of the rest of the match and for several weeks afterwards.
Markram, who made 60, said the South Africans, chasing a win to square the two-match series, were disappointed with their total.
“Coming into this Test match, we really wanted to score big and for batters to get big hundreds,” said Markram.
“We are a bit disappointed but I thought the Sri Lankans bowled well. There was a bit of lateral movement and a bit of swing. Today was really tough.”
Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha both took three wickets as Sri Lanka followed up their dramatic one-wicket win in the first Test in Durban with a disciplined bowling performance.
Fernando said he was pleased that South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis had decided to bat.
“I had confidence that I could take two or three wickets with the new ball,” he said.
Fernando took advantage of early swing to dismiss Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla with successive deliveries in the sixth over of the match, which was followed in the next over by the run-out of Temba Bavuma as three wickets fell with the total on 15.
“I was bowling outswingers and was going too wide, so I tried to use the crease and then get one in. He was looking for the outswinger but it cut back in,” he said of his dismissal of the left-hander Elgar.
The next ball swung in sharply to bowl the right-handed Amla.
South Africa never recovered fully despite three half-century stands.
Markram and Du Plessis put on 58 for the fourth wicket but it was 73 for four when Du Plessis was bowled by opposite number, part-time bowler Dimuth Karunaratne, with the last ball before lunch.

“BITTERLY DISAPPOINTING”

Markram and De Kock put on 57 at almost a run a ball for the fifth wicket before Kasun Rajitha took three wickets in successive overs, starting by trapping Markram leg before wicket.
“I felt I needed to grind out quite hard for a long period of time. To get out was bitterly disappointing,” he said.
Rajitha followed up with the wickets of new cap Wiaan Mulder for nine and Keshav Maharaj for nought.
The left-handed De Kock went to his third half-century of the series off 51 balls but was dropped on 55 when Dhananjaya de Silva could not hold a high chance at gully off Rajitha.
De Kock and Rabada added 59 for the eighth wicket before De Kock, who was suffering from cramp, was bowled by off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva, who then had Rabada caught behind.
Vishwa Fernando finished off the innings by having Duanne Olivier caught behind.
De Kock was struggling to run from soon after reaching his half-century and needed treatment on the field.
Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne gave the Sri Lankan innings a reasonable start, putting on 25 for the first wicket and seeing off the first 11 overs from Dale Steyn and Rabada.
But Karunaratne was caught behind off Rabada for 17 and Olivier followed up by bowling Oshada Fernando and having Kusal Mendis caught behind.


David Warner on fire in IPL return after ball-tampering ban but epic knock not enough to stop Kolkata

Updated 24 March 2019
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David Warner on fire in IPL return after ball-tampering ban but epic knock not enough to stop Kolkata

  • Warner did not play in the 2018 edition of the IPL tournament
  • During his ban, he played T20 franchise cricket in Canada, Bangladesh and the Caribbean

KOLKATA: Australia’s David Warner smashed 85 from 53 balls on his Indian Premier League comeback Sunday but his knock went in vain as Sunrisers Hyderabad lost to Kolkata Knight Riders.
Warner, who along with compatriot Steve Smith returns to the Twenty20 tournament after missing the previous edition due to a ball-tampering controversy, steered Sunrisers to 181 for three after being put into bat.
Warner did not play in the 2018 edition of the IPL tournament after organizers stopped him for his part in the scandal.
His one-year ban from international cricket ends later this month and the 32-year-old opener is expected to make Australia’s World Cup squad and play in this summer’s Ashes series in England.
During his ban, he played T20 franchise cricket in Canada, Bangladesh and the Caribbean, and grade cricket in Australia.
His efforts though were not enough, with Andre Russell hitting an unbeaten 49 off 19 balls as the Knight Riders won by six wickets with two balls to spare at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
A pause for a floodlight failure in the 16th over re-charged Knight Riders’ chase as Russell put together an unbeaten 65-run stand with Shubman Gill, who hit 18 runs including the winning six.
Russell struck four fours and four sixes
Earlier Warner stood out during a 118-run opening stand with England’s Jonny Bairstow, who made 39, to lay the platform for their big total.
“It is good to get out there and contribute. It looked a nice wicket to bat on but it slowed down a bit which made us reassess after six overs,” Warner said after his knock.
The Australian admitted some anxiety before his big return to IPL — and an unusual solution.
“I was a bit nervous in the dressing room and kept drinking pickle juice,” he said.
Opener Warner survived a reprieve on 38 after Knight Riders captain and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik dropped him off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Warner, who captained Sunrisers to their only IPL title in 2016, made the most of the spill and raced to his 37th IPL fifty with a six off Russell to signal his aggressive intent.
Bairstow was bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla but Warner took the attack to the opposition, hitting nine fours and three sixes during his blitz.
Warner, who recently recovered from an elbow injury he picked in the Bangladesh Premier League, finally fell to Russell after driving the ball to cover.
Warner said his elbow “wasn’t all too bad” after doing a lot of work with his trainer back home.
Year-long bans from state and international cricket for Warner and Smith end on March 28 but the duo are keen to get among the runs in the IPL, ahead of the 50-over World Cup starting in May.
The suspension did not include club games but IPL’s governing council decided not to allow the disgraced duo in the 11th edition of the T20 league last year in a bid to avoid controversy.
The pair were banned for cheating in a Cape Town Test in March last year along with teammate Cameron Bancroft, whose nine-month ban has already finished.
Smith is expected to appear for his team Rajasthan Royals in their opening match against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Monday.