Elgar strokes winning runs as Proteas surge to 2-0 series victory

Temba Bavuma of South Africa catches the ball and celebrate with teammates during day 3 of the 2nd Betway Test (WTC) match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Imperial Wanderers on January 05, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Temba Bavuma of South Africa catches the ball and celebrate with teammates during day 3 of the 2nd Betway Test (WTC) match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Imperial Wanderers on January 05, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

South Africa surged to a 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka after completing a 10-wicket victory on the third day of the second Test here on Tuesday.

Fittingly the winning runs came off the bat of first innings centurion Dean Elgar‚ as the home team reached 67 without loss.

Elgar and fellow opener Aiden Markram made short work of the victory target reaching it in the 14th over.

They were set that target after Sri Lanka were bowled out for 211‚ their highest Test score at this ground. That batting effort was built on the back of captain Dimuth Karunaratne becoming the first Sri Lankan to score a Test century at the Bullring. He fashioned a fighting 103 off 128 balls that in the context of the match did little more than stave off an innings defeat.

With a bit more application the Sri Lankans could have extended the match but once Karunaratne departed after putting on 67 with Niroshan Dickwella for the fifth wicket‚ the innings crumbled.

Soon after Dickwella tried to whip Lungi Ngidi through midwicket but the ball found his bat’s leading edge and placed it on a looping trajectory to Temba Bavuma in the covers. It was the kind of dismissal one has become to associate with Dickwella.

He had compiled his 36 off 68 deliveries and his dismissal offered the South African quicks the opportunity to test the Sri Lankan tail.

Dasun Shanaka succumbed meekly by chipping a dolly of a catch to Lutho Sipamla at mid-on to hand Wiaan Mulder a wicket in his first over of the day.

Sipamla then got in on the act as he helped mop up the Sri Lankan tail. He bagged 3/40 having taken a bit of tap in earlier spells.

Sipamla’s late burst robbed Lungi Ngidi the opportunity to bag a 'fifer' when it was eminently on offer. Ngidi had to settle for 4/44‚ while Nortje chipped in with 2/64.

Ngidi profited from the Sri Lankans’ penchant for playing injudicious shots. On day two he comprehensively bowled Sri Lankan game-changer Kusal Perera but thereafter the visiting batters richly contributed to their demise against the broad-chested quick. Two got strangled down the leg side‚ while Dickwella‚ when more caution was called for shortly after his captain’s demise‚ reverted to his hell for leather tendencies.

Nortje went about his business with back-bending intent. Sure‚ he offered the batsmen some scoring opportunities but when he needed to crank it up he did so imperceptibly enough to lull the Sri Lankans into false strokes.

Keshav Maharaj didn’t get a bowl in this clash but there was no need to turn to the slow left-armer. Not even the obligatory ‘let's toss it up’ over before lunch or tea.

South Africa will be relieved to have avenged their 2-0 series loss to the same opposition on their last visit‚ but it would also have been pleasing to get a Test series win of any kind under the belt.

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