South Africa on brink of victory in Cape Town

January 5, 2012
by Paddy Briggs

Newlands

Cape Town, 3rd Test match,
Day 3: South Africa 580-4 v Sri Lanka 239 & 138-4

South Africa have put themselves in a commanding position on day 3 against Sri Lanka at Newlands, as Sri Lanka were forced to follow on after some excellent bowling from all the South African bowlers today.

After the home side posted a huge first innings total Sri Lanka were always up against it, especially when they were dismissed for just 239 in their first innings. The Sri Lankan captain Tilikeratne Dilshan was their only batsman to pass 50 as he scored a run a ball 78 in what was an entertaining knock.

The pick of the bowlers was yet again Vernon Philander who picked up 3-46 from 19 overs. Dale Steyn also claimed 3 wickets with Morne Morkel, and Imran Tahir bothing picking up 2.

Smelling Sri Lankan blood, Graeme Smith had no hesitation is asking Sri Lanka to follow on with 53 overs still remaining in the day. Smith would have even thought that a victory was possible inside three days, but in the end he would have settled for the 4 wickets that the home side picked up as the tourists were 138-4 at stumps. With only six second innings wickets in hand and still trailing by 203 runs it is unrealistic to think that anything other than a thrashing is on the cards.

Having dismissed Kumar Sangakkara (34), and Mahela Jayawardene (12) late on day 3, South Africa will feel it is now a matter of time before victory is secured in this match as well as the series.

Chris Murtagh 05/01/2012

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