Former captain Dinesh Chandimal said Sri Lanka exceeded expectations and scored 340/6 points on the first day of the first test against South Africa at Centurion on Saturday.
Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva were mainly responsible for putting the tourists in a strong position. They scored 85 respectively. 79 points – but De Silva had to retire injured after an apparent hip injury that kept him away from the rest of the match.
« To be honest, we thought 280 plus would be a good first innings score. That surprises everyone on our team, « said Chandimal.
“As a team, we have a lot of self-confidence after today’s game. We look forward to pressure them tomorrow when we can get another 30 or 40 runs. ”
Chandimal said talking to former South African batsman Hashim Amla on his last visit to South Africa in 2016 helped prepare for the bounce and pace of the pitches there.
Amla, who saw the interview in his capacity as a commentator for SuperSport television, said he did not share any great secrets.
« It was basic things, » said Amla. “He fought very well today, walked well and judged the length well. ”
Chandimal praised De Silva who was the dominant partner at a stand of 131 that allowed Sri Lanka to recover from 54 for three on a field that had good bounce and offered sideways movement to the seam cones.
But Chandimal said De Silva was concerned that his injury could incapacitate him for two or three weeks, which would exclude him from the rest of the two-game streak.
« He’s doing an MRI scan right now. We’ll see how that works and hopefully he’ll recover soon, ”said Chandimal.
De Silva stopped as he ran between the gates and was taken from the field on a motorized stretcher.
De Silva played some flowing strokes, hitting 11 fours and six of 105 balls while Chandimal played an anchor role, reaching his half century with 116 balls in the last game before tee.
Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella, 49, added another 99 runs before South Africa eventually won a fourth wicket when Chandimal was caught slipping while gloving a ball from all-rounder Wiaan Mulder that started a length. Chandimal hit 11 fours in his 161-ball innings.
The medium-paced Mulder was South Africa’s most consistent bowler, finishing the day with three wickets for 68 runs.
South Africa had its most inexperienced fast bowling attack since 1993, with Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, debutant Lutho Sipamla and Mulder only having 12 caps and 35 wickets between them.
Despite helpful conditions, the bowlers tried to find consistency, with Sipamla losing 28 runs in three overs with the new ball. Sipamla played in front of the unprotected Glenton Stuurman, who was expected to play but had not fully recovered from a hamstring injury.
« There was a lot of exercise, » said Mulder. “We could have bowls a bit fuller. I was just trying to keep it simple and bowl on top of the tree stump. ”
South African national cricket team, test cricket, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva
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