Sri Lanka v South Africa Test - Men's
Maharaj claims nine to skittle Sri Lanka
South Africa spinner made to wait but finishes with record-breaking nine-wicket haul despite final-wicket resistance
21 July 2018, 04:21 PM AEST
Keshav Maharaj has taken nine wickets to extend his hold over Sri Lanka, but not before a final-wicket fightback from the home side frustrated the Proteas on day two.
Maharaj got the breakthrough to have Ragana Herath caught at leg slip by Dean Elgar as the spinner finished with 9-129.
LIVE SCORES: SRI LANKA v SOUTH AFRICA, SECOND TEST
He took the final wicket with the first ball of his 42nd over as Sri Lanka were all out for 338 after Herath and Akila Dananjaya put on 74 for the final wicket.
Maharaj's feat was 17th instance of a bowler taking nine wickets in an innings in the history of Test cricket – only two have taken all 10 – and just the sixth time a bowler has achieved the feat away from home.
It was the best Test figures for South Africa since their readmission to international sport, and the second-best for the country ever. Hugh Tayfield took 9-113 in 37 eight-ball overs in Johannesburg against England in 1957.
The last bowler to take nine wickets away from home was Muthiah Muralidaran who took 9-65 against England at The Oval in 1998, two decades ago.
The last time it happened home or away was at the same Colombo venue for this ongoing Test, where Herath took 9-127 against Pakistan four years ago.
Maharaj, speaking after he took eight wickets on the Test's opening day, stressed he was not focused on personal records – not yet anyway.
"Accolades mean a lot more when you can win a Test match, so hopefully in the second innings I can put in another performance and be on the winning end of it," he said.
BEST TEST FIGURES BY A SOUTH AFRICAN
HJ Tayfield - 9-113 v England in Johannesburg, 1957
KA Maharaj - 9-129 v Sri Lanka in Colombo, 2018
GB Lawrence - 8-53 v New Zealand in Johannesburg, 1961
L Klusener - 8-64 v India in Kolkata, 1996
HJ Tayfield - 8-69 v England in Durban, 1957
SJ Snooke - 8-70 v England in Johannesburg, 1906
AA Donald - 8-71 v Zimbabwe in Harare, 1995