Maharaj 8-for headlines day
Keshav Maharaj’s 8 out of nine Sri Lankan wickets on day one has led South Africa level the honours in the second Test at Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo.
Maharaj has taken 8 wickets for 116 runs in 32 overs. He became the fifth bowler to take a 8-for Sri Lanka and the first visiting bowler to grab this amount of wickets in this country. He needs one wicket to break South Africa’s best bowling figures record since readmission.
Maharaj was the sole specialist spinner in Proteas line-up with Tabraiz Shamsi being left out. His spin brought Sri Lanka 6 wickets down in the last session as they finished on 277/9 in 86 overs after being 168/3 at tea break. Kagiso Rabada is the only other bowler in the wickets column.
The left-armer spinner took the first four wickets before Rabada dismissed Roshen Silva. Maharaj struck four times again in the last hour of day one’s play. It was his just third five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Earlier in the day, top-order batsmen Dimuth Karunartne, Danushka Gunathilaka and Dhananjaya de Silva scored half-centuries which promised a big first innings total. Karunaratne and Gunathilaka put on 116 runs for the opening stand.
Karunaratne was Maharaj’s first scalp as he was caught behind for 53. Gunathilaka departed soon scoring 57. Dhananjaya top-scored with 60 runs from 109 deliveries including 8 boundaries.
Best bowling figures by a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka:
Keshav Maharaj (South Africa) 8/116*, SSC, 2018
Yasir Shah (Pakistan) 7/76, Galle, 2015
Kraigg Brathwaite (Windies) 6/29, PSS, 2015
John Emburey (England) 6/33, PSS, 1982
Waqar Younis (Pakistan) 6/34, Kandy, 1994
Sri Lanka 277/9 in 86 overs (D de Silva 60, Gunathilaka 57, Karunaratne 53; Maharaj 8/116)