Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo has announced that the national team still have a chance of winning the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka.
However, South Africa will need to take early wickets on the fourth day since Sri Lanka already have a 150-run lead.
“If we can get them under a bit of pressure then they might take a while longer to get the runs and wickets fall,” Domingo said. “We may end up chasing 240 in four sessions, which would mean we’re still very much in the game.”
Domingo also expects leg-spinner Imran Tahir to play a big role since the pitch is becoming more spin-friendly.
“Imran is a confident guy,” Domingo said. “Imran has got a big role for us to play, especially with all the rough outside the left-handers’ off stump.”
Domingo also lauded Jean Paul (JP) Duminy for keeping Sri Lanka at bay after the Proteas lost two wickets in three balls. Duminy stayed at the crease for an hour and eight minutes and only scored three runs before he was stumped off the bowling of Rangana Herath.
“Hindsight is a great science. If he had gone for a shot and holes out to mid-on everyone says he is playing irresponsibly,” Domingo said. “We started brightly but then we lost two wickets in two balls. We have to assess what’s important. JP tried to get us to lunch and then we reassessed. There were very tough conditions for left-handers today.”
Since South Africa were starting to lose wickets at regular intervals, they decided to eat up as much time as possible.
“We wanted to get what we could with the bat, particularly with Herath bowling over the wicket for quite a long time. Runs and time are both so crucial,” Domingo said. “It would have been great to get another 100 runs, but it would also have been great to have gotten 50 runs less and batted for another two hours. There was a good rear-guard action in Dale and Imran’s partnerships with Hashim, but Sri Lanka still have a substantial lead.”
South Africa captain Hashim Amla led by example once again, scoring an unbeaten 139 before the Proteas were bowled out for 282.
“He was really patient and applied himself well,” Domingo said.
Domingo is also confident that South Africa can bat out 100 overs if they need to since they have done it twice in the last few months.
“It’s at times like this where they can call back on experience from the last time,” Domingo said. “They’ve been in positions where they didn’t really look like they had a chance of surviving and then came close and survived.”
When asked what he thought Sri Lanka would do, Domingo said: “They’ll probably look to get another 100 or so. I don’t know, they must figure it out themselves.”