Ricochet News

Abbott strikes decisive blows to round off Proteas victory against Sri Lanka in PE

Dec 30, 2016
Abbott strikes decisive blows to round off Proteas victory against Sri Lanka in PE

Kyle Abbott struck the decisive early blows as the Standard Bank Proteas needed just 40 minutes to take the remaining five Sri Lankan wickets and claim victory by 206 runs in the first Sunfoil Test match, which finished at St. George’s Park on Friday.

Abbott dismissed Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews in the third over of the day with Dhananjaya de Silva following four overs later. Both were dismissed leg before wicket by deliveries that would have hit the top of off-stump. They were the last two batsmen to offer any sort of hope of Sri Lanka making a fight of the final day.

Vernon Philander then took a superb one-handed return catch to dismiss Rangana Herath before Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj wrapped up proceedings with a wicket apiece.

It was appropriate that the wickets should be shared around as the South African attack is very much a team effort at the moment. It left both Philander (148 career wickets) and Rabada (48) on the verge of important milestones as they head for next Monday’s second Test match at PPC Newlands.

Possibly the most pleasing aspect for South Africa in this second innings has been the bowling of Maharaj who returned figures of 3/86 in 30.3 overs (7 maidens) and could easily have earned his first five-wicket haul.

Stephen Cook was named Sunfoil Man of the Match for his aggregate of 176 runs in the match including his third century at this level.

South Africa thus finished 2016 with a Test match record of 5 wins, two draws (one a virtual wash-out) and two defeats and the No. 4 spot on the ICC rankings.