Sri Lanka made light work of South Africa as they won the first Test in Galle by a mammoth 278-run margin and inside three days. The hosts, who started the third day 272 runs in front, could add just 79 more for the last six wickets setting South Africa a target of 352. In the end, the target proved enough as the tourists’ innings lasted only 28.5 overs folding out for 73 – their lowest total since 1957. Dimuth Karunaratne was adjudged Man of the Match for making both the 50-plus scores in the Test (158* & 60); in the process outscoring South Africa by 19 runs.
Stats highlights from the Galle Test:
73 – The lowest (all out) total for South Africa in 254 Tests since their re-admission to the international fold in 1992. The previous lowest for them was 79 against India in Nagpur in 2015. Their first innings total of 126 was their previous lowest in a Test in Sri Lanka.
Lowest totals for SA since re-admission
199 Runs scored by South Africa in two innings combined – 126 and 73. The aggregate of 199 runs is the fewest made by any side against Sri Lanka in Tests which involved two innings. The previous lowest was 233 by Bangladesh in Mirpur earlier this year.
500 Balls faced by South Africa in this Test – 54.3 overs in the first innings and 28.5 in the second. It is the fewest they have faced in a Test since re-admission, with the previous lowest being 519 balls against Australia in Johannesburg in 2002.
16.90 Average runs scored per dismissal in this Test – 676 runs scored at the cost of 40 wickets. Only one Test in Sri Lanka that produced a result, which in turn had a worse ratio – 15.17 – in the match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Kandy in 1986 (440 runs & 29 wickets).
20 – This is the 20th consecutive Test in Sri Lanka which produced a result. The last Test that ended in a draw in this country was in 2014 when South Africa played the hosts at the Sinhalese Sports Club – the venue for the second and final Test of the series.
10/78 Match figures for Dilruwan Perera – 4/46 and 6/32 – fourth best for Sri Lanka against South Africa after 13/171, 12/115 and 11/161, all by Muttiah Muralitharan, in Galle in 2000, in P Sara Oval in 2006 and in Durban in 2000 respectively. Six for 32 and 10 for 78 are respectively the best innings and best match figures for Dilruwan in his career.
5 – Rangana Herath and Dilruwan became the fourth pair of spinners to open the bowling in each innings of a Test. The last pair to do so was Mehidy Hasan and Shakib-Al-Hasan against England in Mirpur in 2016.
421 Wickets taken by Dale Steyn – the joint most for South Africa in Test cricket, equalling Shaun Pollock’s record. Steyn has taken only 87 Tests to take as many wickets as Pollock did in 108 Tests. Among leading wicket takers across teams, Steyn and Pollock currently sit jointly at the tenth position.
Most wickets for SA in Tests
At 23 years and 50 days, Kagiso Rabada became the youngest ever to reach the milestone of 150 Test wickets, usurping Harbhajan Singh, who was 56 days older when he reached the landmark in 2003. His 31 Tests to 150 wickets is bettered only by Hugh Tayfield and Steyn, both taking 29 Tests each.
4 Dimuth Karunaratne became the fourth Sri Lankan player to ‘Carry his bat’ in a Test innings after Sidath Wettimuny, Marvan Atapattu and Russell Arnold. He did so before the close of play on the opening day of the Test – thereby emulating Jackie McGlew, Gary Kirsten and Imran Farhat.
Players carrying the bat for SL in Tests
3 – Karunaratne became the third Sri Lankan player to score a century in his 50th Test. Sanath Jayasuriya had scored 188 against Pakistan in Kandy in 2000 and Tillakaratne Dilshan compiled 162 and 143 against Bangladesh, in Chittagong, in 2009
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