Depleted Lankans look to erase bitter memories at The Wanderers | Daily News

Depleted Lankans look to erase bitter memories at The Wanderers

A depleted Sri Lankan outfit will look to bounce back into recognition when they confront South Africa in the second and deciding Test match at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, commencing on Sunday.

Sri Lanka are trailing 0-1 in this two-Test series after their humiliating innings and 45-run defeat inside four days against the home side in the first Test played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

The Sri Lankan Team will head to The Wanderers under tremendous pressure knowing that this will be their last chance for them to save the series and to redeem some of the lost prestige.

Even then the odds are heavily against the battered and bruised Lankans as they look to get off the floor and fight back after losing almost half of the side due to injuries during the opening Test match.

The venue for the second Test of course, does not provide any real encouragement to the Lankans as they were beaten heavily in their only two outings at Johannesburg.

Sri Lanka made their maiden appearance in a Test match at The Wanderers in the 2002 series under the captaincy of Sanath Jayasuriya but they were humiliated by the home side well inside three days.

Sri Lanka electing to bat first were skittle out for 192 runs in 75.3 overs in their first innings against the five-pronged South African pace attack of Skipper Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Steve Elworthy, Jacques Kallis and Andrew Hall.

In reply, South Africa, helped by splendid half-centuries from Graeme Smith, Garry Kirsten and Jacques Kallis then went on to amass a formidable 386 in their first innings.

Sri Lanka trailing by a massive 194, never looked like making a match out of it and folded-up for a miserable 130 in the second innings with the innings lasting for just over three hours.

In 2017, Sri Lanka had the opportunity of playing their second Test against South Africa at The Wanderers under the leadership of all-rounder, Angelo Mathews.

But once again they failed to put up any resistance and were defeated by an innings and 118 runs by a Francois du Plessis-led side with the match lasting less than three days.

Sri Lanka’s batting line-up was severely exposed in both innings by the South African pace attack which included players in the calibre of Vernon Philander, Wayne Parnell, Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for a mere 131 in their first innings and following on, they were dismissed for a modest 177 in the second innings.

This was after South Africa had piled up a massive 426 in their first innings through the courtesy of two superb centuries from Hashim Amla and Jean-Paul Duminy.

The current Sri Lankan Skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne survived only four deliveries in the first innings but the left-hand opening batsman made amends by stroking a solid half century in the second innings. In addition, middle order batsman Kusal Mendis was the top scorer for Sri Lanka in the first innings with 41 but managed only 24 in the second innings.

Paceman Lahiru Kumara, another surviving member of that 2017 Sri Lankan team had a pleasing outing and was the most successful bowler with four wickets for 107.

The other Lankan players who were part of that team were, middle order batsman Dinesh Chandimal and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal.