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Sri Lanka seamers keep second Test vs South Africa in the balance

first_imgSri Lanka’s seamers set up a thrilling finish to the second and final Test against South Africa after closing day two on 60 for two in pursuit of a victory target of 197 on Friday, leaving the series finely balanced at St George’s Park.Eighteen wickets fell on the second day, the most at this ground since 1914, as first Sri Lanka capitulated to 154 in their first innings and then skittled their hosts for 128 in South Africa’s second visit to the crease.Oshada Fernando (17 not out) and Kusal Mendis (10 not out) will push for victory on the third morning, but with 31 wickets having fallen in six sessions, South Africa will still feel in the game.The struggles of the batsmen on both sides would suggest a difficult wicket, but while there is some seam movement and bounce, it is not the minefield those numbers suggest.Sri Lanka started their second innings an hour before the close and took the score to 32 before Lahiru Thirimanne (10) nicked fast bowler Kagiso Rabada to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.Two runs later Duanne Olivier found the edge of Dimuth Karunaratne’s bat when he had 19.The home side were not able to prise out any more wickets before the close as they seek to win the Test and avoid a first ever home series loss to a side from Asia.The tourists won an epic first Test by one wicket in Durban, a result that ensured South Africa’s streak of seven home series wins will come to an end.advertisementSri Lanka had resumed in the morning session on 60 for three in their first innings but were bowled out within 90 minutes as Rabada (4-38) proved chief destroyer.The visitors clearly had a plan to attack the home bowlers and scored 94 runs in 17.4 overs, but could not stem the fall of wickets.That gave the home side a first innings lead of 68, but they were unable to capitalise after being skittled for 128 in their second innings.South Africa’s top order has battled all season and struggled again as they slipped to 91 for five on the stroke of tea.Hashim Amla (32) provided some resistance before he edged part-time spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (3-36) to slip, while skipper Faf du Plessis (50 not out) ended the innings as top-scorer but ran out of partners.Suranga Lakmal (4-39) and Kasun Rajitha (2-20) were excellent as the rampant tourists bowled out the home side in 44.3 overs, their second lowest completed innings score at home since being skittled for 96 by Australia at Newlands in 2011 – a Test they won.Also Watch:last_img read more

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Steve Mounié capitalises on Brighton howler to rescue point for Huddersfield

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Crackling with nervous energy throughout, Brighton and Huddersfield fought each other to a standstill here in their attempts to avoid relegation. Two goals, both in part the result of an individual error, were characteristic of a match riddled with tension. First Huddersfield’s Jonas Lössl’s soft save rebounded into the net off the goalkeeper himself, then Shane Duffy handed Steve Mounié an equaliser on a platter. Both sides gave their all but neither can relax as the Premier League enters its final straight.“I’m disappointed and frustrated,” said the Brighton manager, Chris Hughton. His team stand on 35 points but now face Crystal Palace in another six-pointer before taking on the current top four in their final five matches. “We had a really good opportunity. Particularly with the start we had. We were up against a team that struggles to score and the goal gave them the lift they needed.” Hughton was right about the start. Davy Pröpper should have scored his first goal for the club within the first 30 seconds. Chasing a looped pass from Ezequiel Schelotto, he controlled the ball, advanced on goal and missed the target. The Dutch international was under pressure from Jonathan Hogg but had a clear sight of goal. It was the first example of the nerves that would define Brighton’s performance.The home side’s first properly fluent move resulted in a goal, however. Pröpper started it, releasing José Izquierdo on the counter with the outside of his boot. The Colombian smuggled the ball to Solly March, who hit a low shot that was precise but lacking real power. Lössl got down to it but his connection was weak, pushing the ball on to the post, then back on to himself and into the net.If that was a warning that calamity can be round the corner at any moment, Brighton did not heed it. Within three minutes the visitors were level and it was all Shane Duffy’s work, the centre-half playing a blind pass across his box while under pressure from Alex Pritchard. Mounié intercepted, rounded Mat Ryan and tucked home. Topics Read more Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Share on Facebook Premier League Huddersfield Share on Pinterest Bournemouth’s Joshua King pounces at the last to deny Crystal Palace vital win Everton rue late misses as winless derby run against Liverpool goes on Brighton & Hove Albion Share on Messenger The Observer “In general I am happy,” said the Huddersfield manager, David Wagner, afterwards. His Terriers are four points clear of Southampton in 18th, having played two games more. “I’m pleased with the performance and very pleased with the players’ response after the start Brighton made and having conceded a lucky goal. If this means you get a point at the end we have to accept it.”Pröpper put the cap on a highly strung performance when he was sent off with 15 minutes remaining for a sliding challenge on Hogg. Brighton might still have won the game with 10 men but Izquierdo failed to round Lössl when sent through by Leonardo Ulloa and Duffy had two headed chances to make amends only to see one cleared and the other go over.“There’s still six games to go, that means so many points still to play for,” Hughton said. “Somebody’s going to pull out a surprise; they always do. Which team that will be I do not know. We certainly still need points to make sure we stay up.” Read more match reports Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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