Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Maharaj grabs nine but Proteas’ batting collapses again

Maharaj grabs nine but Proteas’ batting collapses again

Openers Dimuth Karunaratne (59no) and Danushka Gunathilaka (61) both hit half-centuries as the home side closed on 151-3 in their second innings.

Maharaj's eventual figures were not only the second-best figures for a South Africa spinner ever - just behind Hugh Tayfield's 9 for 113 against England in 1957 - they are also the best figures in Asia for a visiting bowler.

Keshav Maharaj posted South Africa's best figures since they were readmitted to global cricket in 1991 by taking 9-129 against Sri Lanka.

The last wicket partnership between Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath was worth 74 overall.

At the wickets were Dimuth Karunaratne on 59 not out and Angelo Mathews on 12 not out.

Only South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock showed resistance, making 48 off 51 balls and 32 off 31 respectively.

For South Africa, left-arm-spinner Maharaj took his match-haul to 11 wickets but his team were in dire straits.

In reply, the South Africans were bundled out for a paltry 124 in their first essay, with Akila Dananjaya (5/52) and Dilruwan Perera (4/40) even as veteran Hashim Amla became the third Protea to notch 9,000 Test runs.

South Africa were all out for 124 by tea on day two in Colombo as the hosts' spinners claimed all 10 wickets with the tourists lasting little more than two hours as they were knocked over in 34.5 overs.

The only batsman to put any pressure on Sri Lanka was du Plessis, who attacked the spinners after lunch, sweeping with abandon as he struck eight fours and a six.

South Africa once again proved their weakness against off-spin that saw Perera finish with figures of 4 for 40 to go with his match bag of ten at Galle.

Maharaj eventually took the wicket of Herath, who gloved a ball to a close fielder as he attempted to sweep.

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