The first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka ended up in an easy win for the home side, after Sri Lanka, broken and battered with injuries, just couldn’t muster up any fight in the second innings, despite a brilliant outing in the first.
The match which started at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day, saw Sri Lanka elected to bat first after winning the toss. They had windy first innings as their batsmen scored at over 4 rpo throughout the innings.
Dinesh Chandimal (85), Dhananjaya de Silva (79), Dasun Shanaka (66), and Niroshan Dickwella (49) plundered runs at will as Sri Lanka posted 396 runs in just 96 overs in their first innings. Debutant Proteas pacer Lutho Sipamla returned figures of 4/76, while Wiaan Mulder picked 3/69.
South Africa decided to dig deep into their first innings, knowing that Sri Lanka was missing quite a few players due to injuries including Dhananjaya de Silva, fast bowlers Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha, and even debutant Wanindu Hasaranga was off the field for quite a while, before returning.
Dean Elgar made 95, Aiden Markram made 68, adding 141 runs for the first wicket. Then Temba Bavuma made 71 and Keshav Maharaj added 73 runs to add to the misery of the visitors. However, the innings of the match came from Faf du Plessis, who made 199 with 24 fours and lead the Proteas attack.
South Africa was bowled out of 621 runs, giving them a lead of 225 runs.
The home side knew Sri Lanka was short on batting and this was evident as apart from Kusal Perera (64), Dinesh Chandimal (25), and Wanindu Hasaranga, none of the other batsmen were able to negotiate the South African pacers.
Hasaranga highlighted his maiden Test with a brilliant fighting knock of 59 runs with 12 fours and 1 six. Unfortunately, a miracle was not on cards as Sri Lanka was shortly bowled out for 180, with Dhananjaya de Silva unable to bat.
Lungi Ngidi (2/38), Anrich Nortje (2/47), Wiaan Mulder (2/39), and Lutho Sipamla (2/24) split the wickets evenly between them as South Africa won the first Test by an innings and 45 runs.
SL 396 (D CHANDIMAL 85; L SIPAMLA 4/76) & 180 (K PERERA 64; L SIPAMLA 2/24) lost to SA 621 (F DU PLESSIS 199, D ELGAR 95; W HASARANGA 4/171) by an innings and 45 runs