SA close in on series win

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 239 in their first innings,with fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander taking three wickets apiece.

Written by Reuters | Cape Town | Published:January 6, 2012 1:36 am

South Africa need only six more wickets to clinch the series against Sri Lanka after forcing the visitors to follow on on the third day of the third Test at Newlands on Thursday. At the close Sri Lanka were 138 for four in their second innings,still trailing by 203 runs.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith,who declared his team’s innings closed at 580 for four on Wednesday,enforced the follow-on after Sri Lanka lost their last three wickets for 20 runs in the half hour after lunch.

Dale Steyn bowled with great intensity and control before the interval to give his team a firm grip on the Test,adhering to a wonderful line just outside off stump and moving the ball away at high pace. Steyn started the rot when he removed Kumar Sangakkara,who drove lazily to Hashim Amla at point,for 35 with the third ball of the day. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 239 in their first innings,with fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander taking three wickets apiece.

After being asked to follow on 341 runs behind,under cloudless skies on a mostly even pitch,Sri Lanka lost regular wickets. Their only partnership of note was a 67-run second-wicket stand between Lahiru Thirimanne and Sangakkara. Tahir then piled on the pressure with an impressive spell around the wicket into the rough outside the left-handed Sangakkara’s off-stump and the former captain eventually edged a back-foot defensive stroke to Kallis at slip.

Sangakkara had held up the South Africans for a little over two hours in scoring 34. Kallis then took a thrilling catch,diving low in front of first slip,to remove Mahela Jayawardene for 12 off the bowling of Morne Morkel. Mathews went confidently to 28 not out by the close,striking three fours off 38 balls.

Brief scores: South Africa 580/4 decl vs Sri Lanka 239 (T Dilshan 78,D Chandimal 35; V Philander 3/46,D Steyn 3/56) & 138/4 (K Sangakkara 34,A Mathews 28 batting; Vernon Philander 1/24)

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