Young guns revive Sri Lanka in second Test

Colombo, August 5 :

Youngsters Chamara Kapugedera and Prasanna Jayawardene sparked a Sri Lankan batting revival after South Africa threatened to run away with the second Test here on Saturday.

The duo put on 105 for the sixth wicket after a four-wicket haul by Makhaya Ntini reduced the hosts to 86-5 before lunch on the second day.

Chaminda Vaas (64) and Farveez Maharoof (56) continued the fightback by adding 117 for the eighth wicket as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 321 in reply to South Africa’s 361.

The tourists, 40 runs ahead on the first innings, were 6-0 in their second knock at stumps with Herschelle Gibbs on four and Andrew Hall on two.

South Africa, seeking a series-levelling win after being thrashed by an innings and 153 runs in the first Test, lead by 46 runs with all 10 wickets in hand. Seamer Dale Steyn finished with 5-82 and Ntini claimed 4-84 to help South Africa secure the lead.

Kapugedera smashed nine boundaries and two sixes in 63 off 77 balls. Wicket-keeper Jayawardene made 42 with six fours and a six in his seventh match. Both batsmen, however, departed in the space of six deliveries late in the post-lunch session to hand the advantage back to South Africa.

Vaas and Maharoof pushed the South Africans back with superb strokeplay on both sides of the wicket before Steyn removed both batsmen with the second new ball.

Steyn clean bowled Maharoof, had Vaas caught down the leg-side by wicket-keeper Mark Boucher before forcing last man Muttiah Muralitharan to give a catch at mid-on.

Sri Lanka’s top order setbacks contrasted sharply with their display in the first Test where captain Mahela Jayawardene hit the fourth highest score of 374.

Ntini struck in his second over when Upul Tharanga mistimed an attempted hook shot and the ball ballooned to Nicky Boje at mid-on.