South Africa seek to bounce back after Perera heroics

Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Feb 19:
South Africa will be seeking to bounce back in the second Test against Sri Lanka, starting at St George’s Park on Thursday, after Kusal Perera’a heroics handed them a chastening defeat in the first Test.
Perera became a national hero in Sri Lanka after scoring an unbeaten 153 in Durban to guide his country to a sensational first Test victory in South Africa.
Although it was Perera who stole the headlines in the team’s dramatic one-wicket win, the rest of the players rose to rookie captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s challenge to “compete in every session”.
With Sri Lanka having a largely unheralded bowling attack, it seems South Africa seriously under-estimated their opponents.
In consequence, South Africa are likely to have a change of strategy after going into the Durban match with a four-pronged pace attack as well as spinner Keshav Maharaj. It left them with only six recognised batsmen.
Left-arm swing bowler Vishwa Fernando and debutant left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya took eight and six wickets respectively while South Africa’s batsmen struggled, with the exception of captain Faf Du Plessis and Quinton de Kock.
Du Plessis admitted in Durban that South Africa’s batting had been disappointing.
It seems certain that the hosts will include an extra batsman, either Theunis de Bruyn or Zubayr Hamza, while a more conventional mix of three fast bowlers and a spinner seems probable.
Opening bowler Vernon Philander did not bowl in Sri Lanka’s second innings in Durban because of a hamstring strain. (PTI)