Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 4: Highlights, Scorecard and Report

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Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 4: Highlights, Scorecard and Report
Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

Bad light caused an early stoppage in play on Day 4 of South Africa's second Test in Sri Lanka, leaving the visitors on 38-1 after 17 overs of their second innings, requiring 331 more runs to win in Colombo. 

The International Cricket Council provided an update of the scoreline at stumps, with Sri Lanka declaring to set South Africa an imposing target:

At the time of the hosts' declaration, captain Angelo Mathews had continued his recent strong form with a score of 63 from 83 balls, per ESPN Cricinfo:

Play will pick back up at 9:45 a.m. local time on Monday morning (5:15 a.m. BST/1:15 a.m. ET).

With the weather swelling and conditions becoming unpredictable, former Sri Lankan player Russell Arnold defended the timing of Sri Lanka's decision to declare, which may have been seen as too cautious by some:

The forecast isn't entirely more promising for Monday, but the hosts at least have a sizeable lead to defend.

Should South Africa avoid defeat, they'll return to No. 1 in the world Test cricket rankings, enough motivation to encourage a focused batting effort on Day 5. And Sri Lanka have the difficult task of taking nine wickets from the Proteas, who undoubtedly benefited more from Sunday's early conclusion.

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings, 229-8d (53.4 Overs)
Batsman Caught Bowled Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Tharanga c de Kock b Steyn 30 45 40 4 0
K Silva c Philander b M Morkel 26 99 57 5 0
Sangakkara c de Kock b M Morkel 72 131 90 8 0
M Jayawardene c Elgar b Tahir 0 8 6 0 0
Mathews not out 63 129 83 2 2
Vithanage c du Plessis b M Morkel 7 7 8 1 0
Dickwella c de Villiers b Steyn 16 24 21 2 0
D Perera b Tahir 7 7 7 1 0
Herath c de Villiers b M Morkel 4 14 11 0 0
Extras 1nb 0w 1b 2lb 4
Total for 8 (53.4 ovs) 229
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Steyn 13.0 1 59 2
Philander 11.0 3 35 0
Tahir 18.0 0 76 2
M Morkel 9.4 1 45 4
Elgar 1.0 0 9 0
Duminy 1.0 0 2 0

ESPNCricinfo.com

South Africa 2nd Innings, 38-1 (17.0 Overs)
Batsman Caught Bowled Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Petersen c Vithanage b Herath 0 21 25 0 0
Elgar not out 13 49 46 1 0
de Kock not out 21 25 31 1 0
Extras 0nb 0w 0b 4lb 4 4
Total for 1 (17.0 ovs) 38 38
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Herath 8.0 5 7 1
D Perera 6.0 1 24 0
A Mendis 3.0 2 3 0

ESPNCricinfo.com

South Africa will, however, seek to show a bit more intent in their batting when play resumes. As ESPN Cricinfo noted at the time, bad conditions or not, the Proteas seemed to be lacking initiative in their second innings:

However, the likelihood is that the weather will determine the result of this Test. Arnold provided a glimpse of the stormy conditions at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, hoping that brighter scenes will be on display when the players retake their places:

Alviro Petersen was the only visiting batsman to fall on Sunday, for nought. The 33-year-old faced 25 balls without scoring, eventually handing his wicket to Rangana Herath, who saw Kithuruwan Vithanage take an easy catch after 8.1 overs.

The aim will be to now fit 98 overs into Monday's play, but the one certainty is that if South Africa can hang on to clinch their series triumph, they will be entirely deserving of that No. 1 spot.

Monday will see matters come to a climax, where one can only hope the conditions allow for a competitive conclusion in Colombo.

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