SA full innings victory

PRETORIA, December 29

Rookie seam bowlers Wiaan Mulder and Lutho Sipamla took two wickets each as South Africa bowled injury-hit Sri Lanka out for 180 to complete a handsome victory by an innings and 45 runs on Day 4 of the first Test at Centurion Park today.

The tourists resumed their second innings on 65/2 on a wicket that provided plenty of assistance for the seam bowlers and when dangerous opener Kusal Perera was out for 64, their hopes of saving the Test were realistically over.

Sri Lanka had suffered crippling injuries to their bowling attack in the Test and were also without middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva for the second innings, a major concern for their home series against England that starts on January 14.

The tourists posted an impressive 396 in their first innings, but allowed South Africa to amass 621 in reply, and will need to find more potency with the ball ahead of the second Test that starts in Johannesburg on January 3.

“A Test match is never easy and it has been a year since we won one, so it feels good,” South Africa captain Quinton de Kock said at the post-match presentation. “To finish how we did is very pleasing. There were a lot of demons in the wicket. Day 1 we were disappointed with our bowling performance, but we came back towards the end and then came out with the bat and showed some great character. Our planning was really good and that is what we will take forward to the second Test.” — Reuters

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