In a test match where all the Proteas batsman failed, Theunis de Bruyn stood apart. He showed the exact temperament and application required to bat on such tough pitches. He got to his landmark century,only the second of the two match series. But he couldn't save his team from series loss.After he fell,it was just a mere formality for the hosts. Eventually South Africa fell short by 199 runs.
The only positive that South Africa could take from this tour apart from de Bruyn, was exceptional bowling performance by Keshav Maharaj. He bagged a nine-fer in the first innings. Temba Bavuma's batting could be another positive as he stood tall with de Bruyn to build a huge partnership in context of the game.
Both de Bruyn and Bavuma batted superbly. They added 97 runs to the partnership today when they were struggling at 139 for 6 yesterday at stumps. There were no chances on offer from them to give Sri Lanka a wicket.But as it turned out it wasn't enough.
Rangana Herath although bowled well. The batsmen didn't seem to be picking him. As a result Bavuma after a brilliant half century edged one to keeper. Quinton de Kock too couldn't handle him and got out lbw.
It was now all the responsibility on de Bruyn to play as much as he possibly could. He found an ally in Rabada who hung in there despite many play and misses. Courtesy that Bruyn brought up his maiden test century. But he couldn't last long as Herath outbowled him.
South Africa after then had very less resistance to offer. In a matter of 3 overs their batting folded. Herath picked up a six-fer.
Karunaratne was named both player of the match and player of the series for his exceptional performance with the bat.
After this series,there were be certainly debates on pitch neutrality I guess. But given all the teams take full advantage of their home conditions,it would be only fair to give credit to Sri Lanka for an excellent series win over the Proteas.