Smiling Sri Lanka stun South Africa to seal historic away series win

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Sri Lanka's bowler Oshada Fernando, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket during day two of the second cricket test match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)
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Sri Lanka's Oshada Fernando plays a shot in front of South Africa's Quinton de Kock during their third day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Saturday Feb. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)
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Sri Lanka's Oshada Fernando plays a shot in front of South Africa's Quinton de Kock during their third day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Saturday Feb. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)
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Sri Lanka's bowler Oshada Fernando, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket during day two of the second cricket test match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)
Updated 23 February 2019

Smiling Sri Lanka stun South Africa to seal historic away series win

LONDON: Dimuth Karunaratne’s Sri Lanka were given no chance before their Test series against South Africa — they were injury-hit and out-of-form — but stunned everyone on Saturday by clinching their first away series win against the Proteas.
And it was the first victory for any Test team on South African soil other than England and Australia.
It was more than just a win, too, because it meant the plucky Sri Lankans swept the two-match series.
The highly-rated Proteas were shut out in a home series for the first time in more than ten years and for only the second time since returning to international cricket after the end of apartheid.
Indeed, before this series, South Africa’s home record against teams other than England and the Baggy Greens since they first faced another team (New Zealand in 1953) was played 36, won 33, drawn three.
You can now add “one defeat,” thanks to the historic success from the first Asian team to win in South Africa — even the mighty India and Pakistan have never managed to win an away series there.
“I think it’s really a great feeling for me and the team,” new captain Karunaratne said.
“It’s not easy when you come to South Africa and to win a series 2-0, it’s a lot of hard work. I think the guys enjoyed it a lot, that’s why we created history.”
Karunaratne hailed the achievements of his happy, united team.
“We told them, ‘play your normal game, if you can hit over the fielder go for it,’ when you play like that, South Africa are on the back foot.
“Our bowling line-up did a really good job, especially the youngsters,” he said.
Appointed only as an “interim” captain, Karunaratne said he had a simple message for his players when he took over at a time of apparent turmoil in Sri Lankan cricket.
“When I started, I said to my boys, ‘whatever happens you have to keep smiling, keep enjoying. If you’re not enjoying you don’t get to a hundred percent’.”
Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando dominated South Africa’s famed fast-bowling attack to seal the victory, with Mendis finishing on 84 not out and Fernando, in his debut series, 75 not out. Their partnership of 163 saw Sri Lanka home and they pummeled the South African bowlers for good measure. The partnership came off just 213 balls as Sri Lanka raced to victory.
“I’m happy about today because we were down in the dumps,” Mendis said.
If anyone had a right to be down in the dumps, it was South African captain Faf du Plessis who described the series defeat as the “biggest low as a player in the Proteas team.”
Du Plessis said he was at a loss to explain how 31 wickets fell on the first two days.
“When I was batting in both innings I felt it was a really good batting pitch,” he said.
“Mentally we were a bit soft in giving wickets away pretty easily.”
Sri Lanka made it four wins in a row against South Africa after winning two matches at home last year.
“They have been better than us home and away,” admitted Du Plessis. “We were outplayed in their back yard but there’s no excuse when Sri Lanka come here.”


Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

Updated 19 August 2019

Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

  • Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015
  • Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa

LONDON: Floyd Mayweather released a video on Sunday saying he was traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks on a rematch with Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015 and it looks like the Kingdom could host the second bout between the two.

In the video, Mayweather said: “It’s an honor to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch. Saudi Arabia — Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather — I’m on my way.”
Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve, the latter not counting toward his professional record.
There has been no official announcement from Saudi authorities.