Philander demolishes sorry Sri Lanka
Vernon Philander furthered his growing reputation as South Africa thumped Sri Lanka by an innings and 81 runs in the first Test at Centurion.
Philander completed the crushing victory with his 10th wicket of the match as Sri Lanka were skittled for 150 to lose inside three days.
After taking five wickets in the first innings, Philander followed it up with figures of 5-49 as Sri Lanka’s batsmen capitulated for the second time in the match.
It was Philander’s fourth five-wicket Test haul, in just his third game, and with Dale Steyn the 26-year-old is fast forming one of the most threatening new-ball partnerships.
After South Africa were bowled out for 411 early this morning, when Mark Boucher edged behind off Chanaka Welegedara for 16 in addition to his overnight 49, Philander immediately got to work.
The right-arm paceman removed Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, both caught by wicketkeeper Boucher, with the new ball as Sri Lanka slumped to 11 for two.
Boucher, who took six catches in the innings, was in the action again when Steyn located the edge of opener Tharanga Paranavitana’s bat before bowler Jacques Kallis ran out Mahela Jayawardene, attempting a single, for 15 at the non-striker's end.
The tourists’ miserable start was made worse as Jayawardene was caught short attempting the run that would have made him the first Sri Lankan to reach 10,000 Test runs.
Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews briefly stopped the flow of wickets, in a 29-run stand, but Philander was in inspired form and he produced a delivery that left Mathews just enough to catch the edge and fly through to Boucher.
Four balls later Samaraweera followed, edging yet another catch to Boucher off Morne Morkel, to depart for 32 before Thisara Perera carved a full Steyn delivery to Graeme Smith in the cordon on 21.
Kaushal Silva provided Imran Tahir with his only scalp, edging a beautifully flighted delivery to Kallis at slip on 17, which left Philander to wrap things up when he removed the final two to complete his 10-wicket haul.
He first held on to a catch off his own bowling after Welegedara top-edged an ambitious slog before finishing matters when, fittingly, he had Rangana Herath caught by Boucher.