Wiaan Mulder. That’s it, that’s the unreserved opening statement of the first session of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Second Test at the Wanderers, Day 1 Lunch Sri Lanka 84/5
JOHANNESBURG – Wiaan Mulder …
That’s it, that’s the unreserved opening statement of the first session of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Sunday morning.
It was a lacklustre opening salvo from the Proteas bowling unit in the first hour of the morning, the likes of Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortjé failing overall to make an impression in the islanders batting line-up.
It took the trio a near 10 overs to register a first scalp, that of Dimuth Karunaratne, who edged to Quinton de Kock off Nortjé having only made two runs off 31 balls.
It was a disagreeable first hour, in all honesty, and seemed to drag on forever and a day, with the Proteas offering little in their attack and the Sri Lankans waiting patiently for a moment to pounce.
In this regard Kusal Perera made most of his opportunity, moving to his sixth Test fifty in the 16th over. He was helped in his endeavour by some lackadaisical fielding, and the aforementioned loose bowling.
Ngidi should have picked up SA’s second wicket in the 20th over, but Dean Elgar dropped the Lahiru Thirimanne’s edge at second slip. With the bowlers seemingly unable to rattle the Sri Lankans, enter Mulder – the bright eyed, newly-fangled Test international that has hearts-a-flutter on social media with his boyish good looks.
Mulder made an immediate impact, first getting rid of the worrisome Perera (60 off 67), caught by Aiden Markram, and then an over later Kusal Mendis for a duck to make the scoreboard more respectable for the Proteas at 71/3. But he was not done, in his third over, having conceded only one run, he claimed the wicket of Thirimanne (17).
Nortjé then ended the first session by claiming his second wicket, that of Minod Bhanuka – a rising delivery that saw the batman offer no foot-movement and a thick edge to Rassie van der Dussen in the slips.
After a less than stellar start, and with the help of Mulder, the Proteas find themselves now comfortably in the driving seat.