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Sri Lanka grabs breakthrough win in South Africa

 Jacques Rudolph, left, of South Africa takes a run as wicket keeper Dinesh Chandimal, right of Sri Lanka reacts during their second five-day test mat...
 Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal, left, celebrates with fellow team member Rangana Herath after taking the wicket of South Africa's Jacques Kallis for a ...
 Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka plays a pull shot during their second five-day cricket test match against South Africa in Durban, South Africa, Wednesd...
 Umpire Steve Davis reverses a 'not out' decision and gives Jaques Kallis of South Africa out during a second five-day test match between South Africa...

South Africa Cricket Sri Lanka

Jacques Rudolph, left, of South Africa takes a run as wicket keeper Dinesh Chandimal, right of Sri Lanka reacts during their second five-day test mat...

South Africa Cricket Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal, left, celebrates with fellow team member Rangana Herath after taking the wicket of South Africa's Jacques Kallis for a ...

South Africa Cricket Sri Lanka

Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka plays a pull shot during their second five-day cricket test match against South Africa in Durban, South Africa, Wednesd...

South Africa Cricket Sri Lanka

Umpire Steve Davis reverses a 'not out' decision and gives Jaques Kallis of South Africa out during a second five-day test match between South Africa...

Rangana Herath took 5-79 as a revived Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 208 runs in the second test Thursday for a breakthrough win in the country and a first victory in 16 matches.
Spinner Herath wrapped up Sri Lanka's first ever test victory in South Africa late on day four and ended a miserable run in test cricket over the last 18 months as the Proteas slumped to 241 all out in their second innings, well short of their victory target of 450.
Herath broke a stubborn 99-run stand between A.B. de Villiers (69) and Dale Steyn (43) and then removed Steyn and Marchant de Lange in three balls to wrap up a series-leveling success for the tourists with a day to spare.
The left-arm slow bowler took nine wickets in the game in a man-of-the-match performance to send Sri Lanka to one of its best-ever wins, overcoming poor recent form, a problem with player salaries and a dismal return of seven losses and a draw in its eight previous tests in South Africa.
"We played our brand of cricket. That's why we won against South Africa," Herath said. "That's why we are going to celebrate. That's why we are laughing (smiling)."
Struggling after three straight series defeats, Sri Lanka had been written off ahead of the tour and even more so after their heavy loss in Centurion in the first test just over a week ago.
"We proved we are good. I told you before the start of the series ... we can beat any team," said captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, who also celebrated his first win in charge. "We beat one of the best teams in the world.
"This is one of the great wins in Sri Lanka cricket. Great feeling. I was waiting six months for this moment."
Herath had De Villiers lbw late in the day to begin South Africa's final slide after a battling partnership with Steyn delayed Sri Lanka's march to victory and lifted the chastened home team from 133-6 in its second innings.
Morkel went three overs later and Herath hurried out Steyn and debutant De Lange as Sri Lanka suddenly raced to victory.
The Sri Lankans' dramatic turnaround in the three-match contest came after they lost the first test by an innings and 81 runs.
South Africa fell to a fourth straight test defeat in Durban, setting up a series decider in Cape Town next week after no one gave the Sri Lankans a hope when they were bowled out for 180 and 150 in the first match.
"Our skills didn't match theirs on this type of surface," South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said. "I wish I had a better excuse for you guys but it simply was we were outplayed. They were better than us."
At Kingsmead, Sri Lanka scored 338 and 279 _ and skittled out South Africa for 168 in its first innings _ for a dominant 449-run lead.
Fast bowler De Lange's 7-81 for South Africa in the first innings and eight wickets in his first test was set to be forgotten in the hosts' disappointment.
A 28th test century by Kumar Sangakkara, and a second half-century of the match by impressive debutant wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal (54), had built Sri Lanka's second innings Wednesday and put the tourists in complete control of the test.
Dilhara Fernando removed skipper Smith and Ashwell Prince to back up Herath with 2-29 on the fourth day, while captain Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thisara Perera had one wicket each.
South Africa's unlikely hopes of saving the test slipped away in 27 overs after lunch as the Proteas lost 5-50 in the middle session.
Only Hashim Amla resisted with a half-century _ as he did in South Africa's first innings _ but was then run out for 51 as the home team's batsmen fell at regular intervals.
Having already lost captain Smith before lunch, Jacques Rudolph went to a loose drive to Perera straight after. Jacques Kallis top-edged an attempted sweep off Herath onto his helmet and up to Tharanga Paranavitana at short leg to go for a second duck of the game and his first pair in test cricket in his 149th match.
Amla was run out as playing partner Prince refused a run and turned his back on Amla, while Mark Boucher fell lbw to Herath just before tea.
In between, Fernando forced out Prince with a sharp, rising delivery that the left-hander couldn't control and gloved to Paranavitana at first slip.
De Villiers and Steyn battled to the brink of a gutsy century partnership, but South Africa was already heading to a damaging defeat and the test futures of opener Rudolph and veteran Prince were expected to be under scrutiny.
Having lost 5-50 before the seventh-wicket partnership, South Africa then lost 4-9 at the end to fall away dramatically and continue what is becoming known in the country as the curse of Kingsmead.
"It seems to be that way because we can't win a game here at the moment. I think we were just outplayed from the start," Smith said.
South Africa goes to Cape Town having not won a home series since 2008 after the Proteas also surrendered strong positions in draws against Australia, India and England on home soil.
"I thought we were getting there after Centurion. I thought the side had really progressed but we took a step back here and we need to find a way to move forward," Smith said.
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Updated : 2021-08-02 14:32 GMT+08:00