Dale Steyn 5-for on a flat Galle pitch stuns Sri Lanka

Pradeep Kalamegam
Dale Steyn after his 5th wicket in the 1st Test match against Sri Lanka at Galle

South African pacer Dale Steyn picked up his 23rd five-wicket haul in Test matches on Friday against Sri Lanka at Galle. The right-arm pacer with his fiery spell of 5 overs, 3 maidens, 14 runs and 3 wickets has given the Protean side a chance of a rare win in the island nation in the 1st Test of the two-match series. Steyn ended the day with figures of 21-7-50-5 capping off a dominant day 3 for South Africa.

The pitch was expected to be a flat, slow one as South Africa batted for nearly two full days without any real threat from the surface. Steyn removed opener Kaushal Silva to give his side the first breakthrough of the morning before he struck Mahela Jayawardene with a full delivery after lunch.

Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne added 54 runs for the fifth wicket and was looking set for a big one when Steyn returned to struck gold on a hot day at Galle. With the old ball, the speedster explored the merits of reverse swing and was at his brutal best, once again confirming his reputation as the best bowler in the world at the moment.

His first over of the spell went for 3 runs. He set Thirimanne up in his next over with a maiden and forced a nick with a wide out swinging delivery in his third over of the spell. The 31-year-old removed Dinesh Chandimal off a bouncer inviting a pull shot that found short mid-wicket and Dilruwan Perera was another victim to complete his 23rd five-wicket haul in his subsequent overs. Also with 367 wickets he went past Imran Khan(362) and James Anderson (363* โ€“ in action against India) to be placed at 16th in the list of bowlers with most Test scalps.

Not one bowler above him has played lesser Test matches than Steyn. Among his countrymen the right-arm pacer is next only to Shaun Pollock (421) and Makhaya Ntini (390).

Brief Scores:

Stumps โ€“ Day 3:

South Africa: 455/9 dec (Dean Elgar 103, Jean-Paul Duminy 100*, Dilruwan Perera 4/162);

Sri Lanka: 283/9 (Angelo Mathews 89, Upul Tharanga 83, Dale Steyn 5/50)

Edited by Staff Editor


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