Colombo – Rangana
Herath
warned South Africa on Thursday to expect yet more spin in the
second Test after the visitors were skittled for their lowest total
since the Proteas’ readmission to international cricket.

Sri Lanka are chasing their first Test series win against the Proteas
since 2006 and need just a draw to clinch the honours against the
world’s second ranked Test side.

South Africa lost the opening Test in Galle inside three days after
being dispatched for 126 in the first innings and 73 in the second.

Herath said pitch conditions were ripe for a repeat of last week’s
drubbing, in which the left-arm spinner took five wickets and
off-spinner Dilruwan Perera returned overall match figures of 10-78.

“If you see the surface, it’s dry. It will be more of a spin friendly
surface,” the 40-year-old veteran spinner said ahead of the final Test
starting Friday in Colombo.

“We have Dilruwan (Perera) and if we require we also have Dhananjaya
(de Silva). He couldn’t bowl in Galle, but he is certainly ready to bowl
during games,” Herath told reporters.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis top-scored with a gritty 49 while
paceman Kagiso Rabada impressed with four wickets in Sri Lanka’s first
innings.

Rabada, who returned figures of 4-50, was ably supported by Dale
Steyn and Vernon Philander in their first innings to bowl out the hosts
for 287 runs, more than half of which were notched up by Sri Lankan
opener Dimuth Karnaratne.

Du Plessis said his team will rely on their pace bowlers to come back hard at the hosts.

“If it doesn’t rain, then we will have a dangerous weapon in our fast
bowlers. Once again we have to make a call as to whether we are playing
three seamers or two spinners,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis added that South Africa was aiming to conquer local
conditions in their bid to overtake India – about to embark on a
five-Test series in England – and become the number one side.

“It is never easy winning away from home. When you are coming to the
sub-continent, drawing a series is as good as winning a series,” he
said.

“It’s tough and that’s what the best teams do. We need to get to that number one position in Test cricket.”

The next visitors to Sri Lanka will be England in October.

, Read More