July 20, 2018 / 4:59 AM / a month ago

Sri Lanka bat, South Africa bolster batting in second test

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal won the toss and elected to bat in the second and final test as the hosts seek a 2-0 whitewash against a South African team who face another trial by spin.

Cricket - Sri Lanka v South Africa -Second Test Match - Colombo, Sri Lanka - July 20, 2018 - South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn react next to their teammates after the third umpire decision for the unsuccesful LBW wicket for Sri Lanka's Danushka Gunathilaka (not pictured). REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

“This is a good wicket and hope it’s a good batting track,” Lakmal said at the toss on Friday.

Cricket - Sri Lanka v South Africa -Second Test Match - Colombo, Sri Lanka - July 20, 2018 - South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis (R) and Kagiso Rabada (L) react next to umpire Rod Tucker after the third umpire decision for the unsuccesful LBW wicket for Sri Lanka's Danushka Gunathilaka (2nd L). REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Sri Lanka, who won the first test in Galle by 278 runs within three days, made one change with offspinner Akila Dananjaya replacing left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan.

South Africa bolstered their batting by bringing in Theunis de Bruyn for spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, while Lungi Ngidi replaced fellow paceman Vernon Philander.

“We have worked on a few plans and we want to fix it in this match,” South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said.

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“This ground in the past has sometimes assisted pace and bounce. Hopefully we get the same.

“In test cricket, batting is all about application. You don’t rock up and score a 100 off 50 balls. Once again, you’ve to be positive against spin and trust your defence a little more.”

Teams:South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Theunis de Bruyn, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal (captain), Rangana Herath, Akila Dananjaya.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Greg Stutchbury

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