Sri Lanka may win a Test

South Africa are in a lot of strife in Durban. That’s not really anything new or surprising, South Africa’s last win at Kingsmead came against the West Indies in 2008. For some reason they seem to have a lot of trouble batting there, each of their last three matches (four including this one) has included a score under 200. Their 168 all out against Sri Lanka is actually an improvement on their previous three matches in which they were bowled out for 138 by Australia, 133 by England and 131 by India. The match against England is particularly interesting as they dominated the other three matches in the series, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw. If they go on to lose this match, as looks very likely, they will have to force a victory in the final Test to avoid the same result.

Mark Boucher has been under some pressure recently, and that is going to increase after this Test. In the first over of the day (after the first hour was lost to rain) Kumar Sangakkara, on three, edged to the area between Boucher and first slip. Boucher reacted very late and only managed to put off the slip fielder (Graeme Smith, I think). The catch went down and Sangakkara went on to make 108 to probably put the match out of South Africa’s reach. The rest of Sri Lanka’s batting card is not impressive and I suspect that if Sangakkara had not been in to build partnerships with the rest of the order Sri Lanka would be all out by now, and obviously for at least 100 runs fewer. Sri Lanka currently lead by 426 and have three wickets in hand. Some rapid-fire batting from the tail should get them to about 460-475 with almost all of the final two days remaining. Even with their depleted and unreliable bowling that ought to be too many for South Africa to chase (it would be comfortably a record) and too much time for South Africa to bat out.

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