South Africa escape with a draw against SL to reclaim No. 1

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Old 28-Jul-2014
South Africa escape with a draw against SL to reclaim No. 1

South Africa escaped with a draw in the second and final Test match against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Monday to reclaim the world number one Test ranking.

South Africa played for survival as they finished on 159 for eight in 111 overs on a rain-hit fifth and final day to win the Test series 1-0 following their victory in the first match.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath registered amazing bowling figures of five for 40 in 45 overs, while off-spinner took three for 60 in 44 overs but were impacted by the rain delays in the morning session.

Vernon Philander, batting at No. 8, finished unbeaten on 27 from 99 balls while Imran Tahir was not out on four.

Hashim Amla, who top scored for his team in the first innings with 139 not out, played a patient innings of 25 from 159 balls, while Quinton de Kock top scored with 37 as the visitors played for a draw rather than chasing the 369 runs needed for victory.

Sri Lanka also missed a golden opportunity to dismiss Amla early with his score on 13 when opposing skipper Angelo Mathews dropped him at second slip as he prodded at a Herath delivery.

Bowling brilliantly all day, Herath took the two South African wickets to fall in the afternoon session, dismissing Quinton de Kock for 37 and AB de Villiers for 12.

De Kock's defiant 92-ball stay ended when a ball into the rough jagged onto his glove and popped up to Kithuruwan Vithanage at forward short leg.

Just as South Africa looked to have denied Sri Lanka any further wickets in the afternoon session, Herath produced an unplayable delivery to have De Villiers bowled playing down the wrong line.

Earlier, Sri Lanka's hopes of securing victory were thwarted by two rain delays in the morning session that restricted play to just 30 minutes prior to the first interval.

In between the showers, South Africa lost the wicket of Dean Elgar to reach 55-2 before umpires took the players off for an early lunch.

Sri Lanka captured Elgar's wicket from the second ball after the first break for rain when a Dilruwan Perera delivery beat the opening batsman's forward prod to hit off stump.

Elgar lasted 65 balls and shared a partnership of 43 with De Kock before the second, heavier shower forced the players off the field again.

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