South Africa win Test series over Sri Lanka

After failing to win a home Test series since 2008, South Africa win decisive Test against Sri Lanka in emphatic style.

     Kallis was the man who lead South Africa to a confidence boosting Test series victory over Sri Lanka [AFP]

    Jacques Kallis celebrated his 150th Test match with one of the most complete allround performances of his career as he inspired South Africa to a 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Friday and a first home series win in three years.

    Kallis had marked his milestone match at his home ground at Newlands with a career-best 224 in South Africa's rampant first-innings batting effort in the third Test.

    He then picked up 3-35 with the ball in Sri Lanka's second innings on the fourth day - and completed a South African record six catches in the match - to be the driving force behind the Proteas' dominant win.

    South Africa overcame a heavy 208-run loss in the second Test, their first-ever Test defeat on home soil to the Sri Lankans, to seal a first home series success since they beat Bangladesh in 2008.

    It ended a run of four home series without a win, where South Africa failed to close out strong positions in the last three.

    In Cape Town, South Africa finally found the killer instinct to bowl Sri Lanka out for 239 and then 342 just before tea on Friday after they had followed on in response to South Africa's daunting and Kallis-inspired 580-4 declared.

    Needing just two runs to clinch the match and a 2-1 series victory with over a day to spare, opener Alviro Petersen drove the first ball of South Africa's second innings, a no-ball from Dhammika Prasad, back through mid-on and to the boundary.

    At the non-striker's end, captain Graeme Smith needn't have padded up.

    Resistant century

    A fighting 115 not out from Thilan Samaraweera had earlier delayed South Africa's march to victory in a gritty 142-run partnership with Angelo Mathews (63). Their disciplined stand under great pressure from South Africa's relentless attack was chiefly responsible for the host having to bat again.

    However, Samaraweera's impressive second century of the series, where he hit 14 fours to prop up Sri Lanka's failing batting lineup, couldn't prevent South Africa's long-awaited victory.

    Having not been in Sri Lanka's initial squad for the tour, Samaraweera's first century in South Africa had set up their historic win in Durban. But, despite the 35-year-old batsman's fight at Newlands, Sri Lanka slid away to their fourth series defeat in four trips to South Africa.

    Sri Lanka started Friday 138-4 in their second innings and still 203 runs from making South Africa bat again.

    But Samaraweera and Mathews, who came together with Sri Lanka 98-4 and almost certain to slump to an innings defeat, lifted the tourists to 240-5 when Mathews fell to South Africa's Vernon Philander.

    The tourists added just 102 more for their last five wickets, though, as Philander finished with 3-54 in the innings and Imran Tahir 3-106.

    South Africa's impressive bowling newcomer Philander returned from injury to take six wickets in the match and take his tally to 30 in his first four Tests.

    Dale Steyn returned 3-56 in the first innings and legspinner Tahir had five wickets in the match.

    A.B. de Villiers made 160 not out in South Africa's first innings and Petersen also had a century in the Proteas' dominant start, but 36-year-old Kallis produced one of his best outings in his 17th year of international cricket to ridicule recent suggestions in South Africa's media that the allrounder may be past his best.

    He pouched tough chances at slip and a diving catch off his own bowling, and produced pace and bounce off a lifeless wicket to trouble batsmen. Having been hit over his head for six he roared in and ripped out Chanaka Welegedara's leg stump to end Sri Lanka's innings just before tea and effectively end the match.

    Batting, he punished Sri Lanka's bowling for the best part of two days at the start of the Test for his highest Test score 224, hitting 31 fours and a six.



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