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05 Jan 2012 18:41
Forced to follow on, Sri Lanka were 138 for four at stumps on day three of the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Thursday.
At close of play the visitors still needed a further 204 runs to avoid an innings defeat and, while they managed to extend the match into a fourth day, it is unlikely to go the full distance.
Should South Africa wrap up the series without having to bat again it will be the fifth time in eight victories over the visitors that South Africa have won by an innings or more.
The visitors collapsed to 239 all out shortly after lunch and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan had to open the batting for the second time in less than 24 hours.
In only the fourth over, Dilshan (5) got a nick to a delivery from Vernon Philander and was caught behind, failing to give his side the foundation they so badly needed.
Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara looked to stabilise the situation and added 67 runs off 157 balls.
Thirimanne (30) was a little unlucky to get a faint edge which flicked his pad and flew to Hashim Amla at short leg. It was the first reversal of an umpire’s decision in the match after the South Africans asked for a review as the batsman was originally given not out.
Sangakkara’s wicket was more memorable for Imran Tahir’s extravagant celebrations than for the ball which did not turn as much as expected and was edged to Kallis at lone slip.
He had made 34 runs off 89 balls and hit four boundaries.
Mahela Jayawardene disappointed once again with his 12 runs off 21 balls.
He wasted his wicket attempting a shot at a delivery from Morne Morkel, which would have been best left alone.
Jayawardene never got going in the three Tests against South Africa. His scores of 30, 15, 31, 14, 30 proved an indifferent series for a batsman who is one of only six in the world to have scored over 10 000 runs in both Tests and one-day internationals.
At stumps, Thilan Samaraweera was unbeaten on 19 and Angelo Mathews on 28.—Sapa
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