Sri Lanka v South Africa Test - Men's

All out for 73! Proteas crumble in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's spinners secure emphatic victory as South Africa slump to their lowest Test total since 1957

Martin Smith

14 July 2018, 09:37 PM AEST

South Africa bowled out for 73 as SL's spinners fire

South Africa have been bowled out for their lowest Test total since re-admission as Sri Lanka handed them a crushing defeat in the first Test in Galle.

Chasing an unlikely 352 to win, the Proteas were dismissed for just 73 inside 29 overs, less than 24 hours after they managed only 126 in their first innings.

Day two: All ten SA wickets from first innings of 126

It represents South Africa's lowest Test score since their re-admission into international cricket in 1992 and their lowest since the 72 they scored against England in 1957.

Their match total of 199 runs is also the first time since re-admission that they've failed to score more than 200 in a Test and the first time since 1932.

The victory margin of 278 runs is Sri Lanka's fifth-largest in Tests and South Africa's fifth-heaviest defeat since re-admission.

Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took 6-32 in the second innings to complete a match haul of 10-78, while veteran Rangana Herath took 5-77 for the match.

All but 4.3 of the 82.2 overs South Africa faced in the match were bowled by Sri Lanka's spinners.

Herath moved to ninth on the all-time wicket tally, with 423 career dismissals to his name, while Perera's five-wicket haul was the sixth of his career.

South Africa's match aggregate of 199 was 20 runs fewer than Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne's individual score across both innings.

Only three of the visitors made it into double figures, and the highest partnership yielded just 22, as batsmen repeatedly fell in their attempts to take on the Sri Lanka spinners.

South Africa's top scorer was Vernon Philander, who made 22 not out, with opener Aiden Markram batting out the most deliveries, facing 46 balls for his 19.

Perera made the first breakthrough in the third over after lunch, having opener Dean Elgar stumped, after the batsman ran down the pitch and failed to connect with a turning delivery.

Hashim Amla was caught at leg slip for a duck in Perera's next over, and Temba Bavuma was caught for two by the same fielder shortly after, reducing South Africa to 3-24.

The wickets continued to tumble as Herath began to strike as well, with the next three batsmen out for 11 runs in the space of four overs.

South Africa had begun the day 272 runs in arrears, but had bowled with discipline to remove the last six Sri Lanka wickets for 79 runs.

Kagiso Rabada had struck twice in an over in the first hour of the day, before spinners Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Dale Steyn took one wicket apiece to finish the innings off.

Sri Lanka's second innings 190 was built on 35 from Angelo Mathews, and a stroke-filled 33 off 46 balls from skipper Suranga Lakmal, who came in at No. 9.

South Africa were always going to struggle with a target of 352, but the rate at which they lost their wickets will be cause for serious concern ahead of the second Test in Colombo.

- with AFP