Keshav Maharaj broke all sorts of records as he went to take 9 for 129 in the Sri Lankan first innings of the second Test match in Colombo. Sri Lanka managed 338 in their first innings and South Africa are battling hard to make a match out of the contest. Being 1-0 down in the series, this is a must-win match for the Proteas to level the series.
After his spell, Maharaj went on to say that the celebration and the happiness will mean all the more when his team wins the game.
“Accolades mean a lot more when you can get the team to win a Test match,” he said after stumps on the first day in Colombo. “Hopefully, in the second innings, I can put in another performance and be on the winning end of it.”
“I did get a little bit of assistance off the wicket,” he said. “It is a little bit different here to Galle, the ball skids on, which showed with the lbw and top-edges off the sweep. I feel I also did beat some of the batsmen in the air with the ball dipping on them.
“South Africa have always played one spinner back home. I am used to doing the holding job, I would like to think I did it decently today.”
Maharaj didn’t have the greatest of starts to the series – he failed to claim a wicket in 17 overs in the first innings in Galle. However, he found his rhythm in the second innings to claim four wickets.
He said he kept bowling in the lead-up to the second Test to keep his rhythm and worked closely with Claude Henderson, the South Africa bowling coach, and Prasanna Agoram, the performance analyst.
Cricket South Africa in a series of two tweets has sent their wishes to Maharaja on his gigantic feat. A win for South Africa at Colombo will mean a cherry on the top performance by the side led by Maharaj's tremendous bowling spell.
WICKET. @keshavmaharaj16 gets the last wicket. Take a bow, you beauty! He ends with 41.1-10-129-9, the 2nd best Test bowling figures for South Africa. Herath edges the ball to Elgar and goes for 35. Sri Lanka all out for 338. #SLvSA pic.twitter.com/vzp834rrEs— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) July 21, 2018
(With ICC inputs)