The Lankan lions have roared at home after whitewashing the Proteans. The used the tried and tested formulae of " spin to win" as the South African batsmen fell like nine pins in front of the Lankan spinners.
After a rather paltry performance with the bat in the first innings, Theunis de Bruyn went on to make a special ton in the second innings. His 101* was a proof that he is ready for this stage and promises to be a bright future for the Proteas if given enough opportunities.
South Africa, after a 278-run loss in the first game, they were beaten by 199 runs in the second Test. But for Bruyn, the fourth day’s action will remain special as he became the only centurion for the Proteas in the Test series.
He also shared his emotions after achieving the feat. “It's been quite a journey - it's been tough. My international career didn't start the way I wanted it to," he said. "But I just had a bit of calmness landing in the airport here in Sri Lanka. As we drove to the hotel, I looked at the ocean and said to myself: 'Yep, there could be something special.' As a team, it wasn't special, but for me it was special. "
De Bruyn is now aiming to make the number 3 spot his own. "For me, it does make a difference batting at No. 3. I've batted there my whole career, even as a youngster. The waiting game when you're batting at six and seven mentally drains you - I don't know, I'm not used to it. But I wanted to do really well batting at No. 3. It's a place I really cherish and I'd like to make it my own one day if I get more opportunities," he said.
Bruyn said the biggest challenge was to bring out the cross-batted shot against the spinners. "Back home you don't need the sweep, because we play on bouncier wickets and you can play spinners down the ground," he said. "But here, you know they're bowling in good areas, and the wickets don't bounce as much. The sweep is a better option."
"For me, it was important to get the fielders out on the boundary, early on - especially with the new ball. If you're just defending, it can be difficult. So if you put the bowlers slightly under pressure, you can get the fielders out. I didn't know it was going to take that long to get a hundred. They just don't let you go. They keep on bowling very accurately. It's Test cricket. It's not easy" said De Bruyn further on how he played the spinners.
The second Test completes a series defeat for South Africa and a memorable win for the Lankans at home after their regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal and coach Chandika Haturusinghe was suspended for the Test series owing to ball - tampering allegations as well as breaching the code of conduct.
Both teams now play a five-match ODI series starting from July 26, followed by a solitary T20I on August 14.
(Inputs from Cricketnext)