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South Africa thrash injury-stricken Sri Lanka by an innings and 45 runs in the first Test

South Africa sealed a comfortable win over Sri Lanka in the First Test
South Africa sealed a comfortable win over Sri Lanka in the First Test
Sachin Sharma
ANALYST
Modified 29 Dec 2020, 22:00 IST
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South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka after winning the first game by an innings and 45 runs. The Proteas cruised to victory on the back of Faf du Plessis' incredible 199, before their bowlers got the job done and sealed a comprehensive win against an ailing Sri Lanka team.

The tourists suffered a slew of injuries over the course of the Test match, which affected their ability to put any pressure on South Africa. The visitors started the match on the front foot and scored an impressive 396 in their first innings.

However, a number of Sri Lankan players went down in the field and South Africa took full advantage by scoring 621 runs in just 142.1 overs.

Faf du Plessis top scored for the hosts with a career-best 199. While he was dismissed just before he could get his double hundred, the former skipper's innings put South Africa in a dominant position going into the final two days. Four other South Africa batsmen scored half-centuries, as Sri Lanka were made to toil and struggle.


South Africa bowlers tear through Sri Lanka on Day Four

Wiaan Mulder took two key wickets for South Africa in the second innings
Wiaan Mulder took two key wickets for South Africa in the second innings

To add to the positive takeaways from the game for South Africa, newcomers Wiaan Mulder and Lutho Sipamla starred with the ball to knock Sri Lanka over for 180 in their second innings.

After taking four wickets in the first innings, Sipamla added two more scalps in the second to mark his impressive Test debut. Meanwhile, Mulder got the better of Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal to increase his chan of starting in the second Test match.

Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi also chipped in with two wickets each, but it was their new teammates who stole the headlines.

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Sri Lanka were offered some hope of making South Africa bat again when Wanindu Hasaranga scored a quick-fire half-century on his debut. But Sipamla got the better of him to put an end to those hopes very quickly.

There are questions aplenty for Sri Lanka going into the second Test. The status of a number of players is still up in the air, and they will no doubt be forced into making some changes, as they look to level the series. For South Africa, the only question after such a ruthless display is, who will Kagiso Rabada replace for the second Test?

But for now, they can celebrate a well-earned win, which will bring some smiles to the faces of South Africa fans who have endured a rough few weeks due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Published 29 Dec 2020, 22:00 IST
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