Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla and Anrich Nortje all claimed two wickets apiece as the Proteas made a winning start to the summer with a clinical innings and 45-run victory over Sri Lanka after lunch on day four of the first Betway Test against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.
With injuries severely hampering the tourists, the hosts needed just nine second-innings wickets, seven of those on what turned out to be the final day, to close out the win.
And thanks to Mulder (2/39), Sipamla (2/24) and Nortje (2/47), they required just 34.1 overs to do it – in the process secure their first innings win in a Test match since beating Zimbabwe by an innings and 120 runs at Port Elizabeth in 2017.
The Sri Lankans had resumed the fourth morning on 65 for two and 160 runs short of making South Africa bat again.
They initially started out well as top-scorer Kusal Perera (64 off 87 balls, 10 fours) and Dinesh Chandimal extended their third-wicket partnership to 63 for the third wicket, before Mulder cleaned up the latter for 25.
Niroshan Dickwella lasted 15 balls for his 10 as Mulder struck once more by drawing an edge to Quinton de Kock.
Superb bowling from Nortje then claimed the prise scalp of Perera as the visitors’ hopes of making the home side bat again were severely dented.
Dasun Shanaka (6) and Wanindu Hasaranga (59 off 53 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) were taken out by Sipamla either side of Vishwa Fernando being run out by Keshav Maharaj for a duck, and Nortje dislodged last man Kasun Rajitha without scoring.
That left Sri Lanka all out for 180 and put the Proteas 1-0 up in the two-match series. The second Test match on Sunday, January 3.
Proteas squad for the first Betway Test vs Sri Lanka: Quinton de Kock (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (Imperial Lions), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), Faf du Plessis (Momentum Multiply Titans), Dean Elgar (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Imperial Lions), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Wiaan Mulder (Imperial Lions), Lutho Sipamla (Imperial Lions).
Betway Test Series vs Sri Lanka
Saturday, 26-30 December 2020 at 10:00 SAST:
1st Betway Test match (WTC) South Africa v Sri Lanka, SuperSport Park, Centurion
South Africa won by an innings and 45 runs
Sunday, 03-07 January 2021 at 10:00 SAST:
2nd Betway Test match (WTC) South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg