South Africa completed a sweep of their two match series against Sri Lanka as they strolled to a 10-wicket win on the third day of the second Test on Tuesday.
The hosts knocked off a target of 67 runs without loss as openers Dean Elgar (31 not out) and Aiden Markram (36 not out) saw them to victory at the Wanderers Stadium with two-and-a-half days of the contest still remaining.
Sri Lanka had shown signs of fight on Monday but their batsmen surrendered their final six wickets within 95 minutes of Tuesday’s morning session. Resuming on 150 for four, they were bowled out for 211 in their second innings, leaving South Africa a double-digit target.
The tourists’ captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, resumed on 91 and reached his 10th Test century off 123 balls, but a misjudged pull shot saw him caught by Wiaan Mulder off the bowling of Anrich Nortje. He was dismissed for 103 and his departure marked the beginning of the end.
Niroshan Dickwella (36) followed in the next over as Lungi Ngidi (four for 44) took another crucial wicket, setting off an end to the resistance among the lower order. Lutho Sipamla cleaned up the tail with three wickets in 12 balls, including bowling Wanindu Hasaranga for 16, to finish with figures of three for 40.
“We wanted to turn the pressure over on to South Africa but unfortunately they bowled really well,” Karunaratne said afterwards. Sri Lanka, who won the toss and elected to bat, scored 157 in their first innings and South Africa replied with 302, with Elgar top scoring on 127.
Success for the Proteas in Johannesburg follows a convincing innings and 45-run triumph in the first Test in Pretoria last week and turns around a poor run of Test form over the last year.
Winning captain Quinton de Kock said: “We wanted to get the new year off to a good start, and it was good to see our experienced batsmen among the runs as well as our young bowling lineup putting up their hands.
Sri Lanka will now return home to host England in two Tests. Joe Root’s side are already in Sri Lanka, but their preparations have been disrupted by Moeen Ali’s positive Covid-19 test. The first match is due to begin at Galle on 14 Jan, while South Africa now look ahead to their first visit in 14 years to Pakistan, where they will play two Tests and three T20 games later this month.