Maharaj grabs nine but Proteas’ batting collapses again

Destroyer of the South African innings Akila Dananjaya successfully appeals for an lbw against Dale Steyn      Pic Saman Mendis

Destroyer of the South African innings Akila Dananjaya successfully appeals for an lbw against Dale Steyn Pic Saman Mendis

To say that the day belonged to Dananjaya would not be an understatement for before he wrecked the South African batting and frustrated their bowlers on the field by batting for almost two hours to score a career best 43 not out off 91 balls (7 fours).

Sri Lanka are without regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, who is suspended for the series over a ball tampering incident.

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

Sri Lanka had resumed on day two on 277-9 and extended its first innings with a record 74-run, last-wicket stand.

Maharaj returned career-best figures of 9/129, to become the 19th overall and only the second South African after Hugh Tayfield to achieve the rare feat.

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

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Keshav Maharaj claimed South Africa's best bowling figures since their return to Test cricket, taking nine for 129, but Sri Lanka's 10th wicket pair added 61 on Saturday to take their side to 338 all out in the second Test.

After being dismissed for 126 and 73 in the first Test in Galle, the tourists were skittled for 124 in just 34.5 overs on Saturday, with offspinner Akila Dananjaya taking 5-52.

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

But Sri Lanka's 338 was always going to be a challenge and Dananjaya, Herath and Dilruwan Perera then tore through the South African batting, already exposed by its defeat in the first Test in Galle.

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.

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