De Villiers shows his class on Day 2

December 16, 2011
Ab de Villiers

by Deon Maritz

AB de Villiers fell one run short of his thirteenth Test match century, as he played a vital hand in keeping South Africa’s strangle hold of the first Test match, on day two at SuperSport Park against Sri Lanka.

South Africa resumed today on 90-1 after Sri Lanka were bowled out on day one for 180. The home side furthered their grip on the game as they batted all day finishing on 389-9, a lead of 199. This is a more then handy first innings advantage in any Test match, but especially at SuperSport Park where the wicket is making life very difficult for batting.

It was a brave performance from the South African batsman today, as they were tested to the maximum on a surface that was producing huge volumes of uneven bounce. The hero of the day was AB de Villiers who made 99 from 135 balls in an innings that included 12 fours. Despite not reaching three figures, this has to go down as one of De Villiers best innings in Test cricket, as he had to fight tooth and nail to preserve his wicket. De Villiers eventually fell to Perera after cutting one straight to backward point in trying to bring up his century.

De Villiers was well supported by Ashwell Prince (39) and Mark Boucher (49*) throughout his innings. Boucher was under huge pressure coming into this Test match and he would have been pleased to help steer his side to a commanding first innings lead at the close of play. He will have full licence to attack the Sri Lankan bowling in the morning when he resumes with number 11 Imran Tahir.

On a day where Sri Lanka would have hoped for more success with the ball, their best bowler proved to be Perera, who picked up 3/114 from his 24 overs.

On a wicket becoming harder to bat on, and a well-rested South African bowling attack, it won’t be a huge surprise if this Test match is concluded on day 3 with South Africa heading to Durban with a 1-0 series lead.

Chris Murtagh 16/12/2011

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