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South Africa face early jitters in difficult chase

Chasing 369 for victory, the Porteas were 38/1 at stumps on day four against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka made an early breakthrough aginst Porteas. (Source: AP) Sri Lanka made an early breakthrough by sending back Peterson for a duck. (Source: AP)

South Africa lost the wicket of opener Alviro Petersen for a duck as they chased 369 runs for victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Petersen was caught at silly point by Kithuruwan Vithanage as he prodded forward to a length ball from Rangana Herath that turned appreciably to take the edge of his bat.

On a pitch that was assisting the spinners, South Africa were spared further damage when bad light ended play with 21 overs still remaining to be bowled for the day.

Dean Elgar was on 13 and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, promoted up the order, on 21, as South Africa ended the day on 38 for one wicket.

South Africa, who lead the two-Test series 1-0, require a further 331 runs from a minimum of 98 overs to win on the final day with nine second-innings wickets in hand.

Earlier, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews completed his second half-century of the match and went past 1000 runs for the calendar year before declaring the second innings at the fall of the eighth wicket on 229.

The right-hander followed his first-innings 63 with a similar knock in the second to remain unbeaten on 63 with two sixes and two fours.

Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the final session with Imran Tahir bowling Dilruwan Perera for seven and Morkel claiming his fourth wicket of the innings by having Herath caught by AB de Villiers for four.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mathews led Sri Lanka’s hunt for quick runs on Sunday with a fourth-wicket partnership of 81.
Sangakkara registered his 50th Test half century with an aggressive 72 off 90 balls, including eight fours, before he was dismissed edging Morkel to de Kock.

Morkel picked up his 200th Test wicket when Kithuruwan Vithanage (seven) was caught splendidly by Faf du Plessis at backward point off a top edge.

Niroshan Dickwella (16) fell to Dale Steyn when he top edged a pull to lob up an easy catch for de Villiers at square leg.
Wicketkeeper Dickwella was earlier fined 10 percent of his match fee and officially reprimanded by the match referee for  claiming a catch on the bounce off de Villiers and celebrating it by throwing the ball in the air on Saturday.

Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the morning session, including that of first-innings centurion Mahela Jayawardene for a duck.

Jayawardene was given out caught off his glove when he attempted to reverse sweep leg-spinner Tahir.

He immediately referred the decision but as there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the umpire’s call, Jayawardene had to go and he trudged off unhappily, certain that the ball had hit his arm guard.

Resuming on 11-0, Sri Lanka made clear their attacking intentions when play began with Upul Tharanga straight driving the first ball of the day from Vernon Philander for four.

Tharanga lived dangerously outside his off stump and eventually edged a delivery from Steyn to de Kock to be dismissed for 30 following an opening stand of 38 with Kaushal Silva.

The first hour’s play produced 55 runs in 13 overs but following the dismissals of Silva and Jayawardene, the second hour brought only 42 runs.

Silva’s innings of 26 was ended by Morkel when the batsman scooped a delivery to Philander at point.

Dickwella fined for claiming false catch

Sri Lanka’s debutant wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella has been fined and reprimanded for claiming an unfair catch in the ongoing second cricket Test against South Africa, International Cricket Council authorities said Sunday.

The ICC said in a statement that the 21-year-old was fined 10 percent of his match fee and given an official reprimand after he pleaded guilty to the offense.

The incident occurred during the third day’s play Saturday when South African batsman AB de Villiers gloved a ball that Dickwella collected on the bounce and immediately claimed it to be a catch.

The batsman was ruled not out after television replays.


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