South Africa record emphatic win at Newlands
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen AB de Villiers (160*) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (78) were among the runs at Newlands in Cape Town as South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the third Test, winning their first home series since 2008 by a 2-1 margin. AB de Villiers was declared Man of the Series for his 353 runs in a series where most batsmen found the going hard.
The Test began with Dilshan winning the toss and choosing to bowl first on a clearly flat and batsmen friendly pitch. His seamers struck, Dammika Prasad dismissed Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla to reduce SA to 56/2 before Jacques Kallis and recalled opener Alviro Peterson took over.
The duo played to consolidate and as the Sri Lankan attack weakened in intensity, seized their chance to plunder runs off it. Peterson made his second Test ton while in his 150th Test, Kallis made Test century no. 41 as they added 205 runs for the third wicket. South Africa ended Day 1 on 347/3, Peterson dismissed for 109 while Kallis and AB de Villiers remained unbeaten on 151* and 45* respectively.
Kallis reached only his second Test double century in the first session on Day 2 over the course of his 192 run partnership with de Villiers for the fourth wicket. Playing in front of his home crowd, the allrounder raced to 224 before being dismissed as de Villiers provided solid support at the other end.
AB de Villiers cut loose soon after reaching his ton off 176 deliveries. In the company of Jacques Rudolph for the fifth wicket, the SA score jumped 127 runs in just 20.3 overs. De Villiers remained unbeaten on 160 and Rudolph on 51 when Graeme Smith declared in the second session with SA’s score 580/4.
Dilshan was aggressive in his reply with Lahiru Thirimanne, the first wicket adding 70 runs in just 14 overs. Dilshan made 78 off just 79 balls but could not remain at the crease till Stumps as SL ended the day on 149/2.
A stunning collapse engineered by Steyn and completed by Philander saw SL crash to 239 all out in their first innings after lunch on Day 3. With the visitors trailing SA by 341 runs, Graeme Smith enforced the follow on.
Dilshan’s vigil was much shorter this time; he made only 5 before he was caught behind off Philander. SL reached Stumps on Day 4 at 138/4, trailing SA by 203 runs. Thilan Samaraweera, recalled to the Team after being dropped in the home series against Australia hit his second ton of the series, making 115 with 63 from Angelo Mathews to support him as Sri Lanka managed to avoid an innings defeat. They made 342 in their second innings, setting South Africa a target of 2 to win. Dammika Prasad’s first ball was a no ball and the batsmen took a run as it ran down to the boundary past keeper, SA sealing a 10 wicket win without facing a single legal delivery in their entire second innings.
Jacques Kallis had a memorable match, scoring 224, taking two catches in SL’s first innings and four in the second innings, including one off his own bowling as he finished with bowling figures of 3/35.
The win was South Africa’s first in a home series since 2008 after which they drew series with England and India, losing one and drawing one with Australia as well. For his 353 runs in the series at an average of 117.66, AB de Villiers picked up the Man of the Series award.