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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 14:28 GMT
SA taken to the limit
South Africa were given a fright by Sri Lanka
Shaun Pollock celebrates with deputy Mark Boucher
Second Test, Centurion, day five: South Africa 448 & 124-7 beat Sri Lanka 323 & 245 by three wickets

South African skipper Shaun Pollock kept his nerve to hit the winning boundary after a gripping final day struggle.

Requring only 121 to win, the home side collapsed to 44 for five as Sri Lankan paceman Dilhara Fernando snapped up four wickets in a hostile new ball spell.

But Neil McKenzie's sensible 39 kept the tourists at bay and Pollock sealed a 2-0 series win by lofting spinner Muttiah Muralitharan over mid-on for four.

The only sour note was a series of verbal clashes between the players as the pressure increased and Chamila Gamage was given a warning by the umpires after walking into McKenzie.

Sri Lanka lost their last seven wickets in only 25 overs during the morning session after starting out on 180 for three.

Sri Lankan paceman Dilhara Fernando
Fernando shook up the home batsmen

Mahela Jayawardene (40) was adjudged lbw as he offered no stroke to Makhaya Ntini's opening delivery.

Ntini also dismissed Hasantha Fernando, caught at long leg by Andrew Hall for 14, to finish with four for 52.

But the best figures of four for 39 were returned by all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who picked up the wickets of Hashan Tillekeratne, Gamage and Chaminda Vaas - the last two from successive deliveries.

But if South Africa were expecting a comfortable stroll to victory, they were soon given a rude awakening as Graeme Smith was lbw to the first ball of their innings, bowled by Chaminda Vaas.

But it was Fernando who posed the biggest threat as he removed Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Kallis and Ashwell Prince in his opening eight-over burst.

Andrew Hall helped McKenzie add 29 priceless runs for the sixth wicket before he departed for 16, a first victim for spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan and the home side were still 23 short of their target at tea.

It came down to nine runs needed before McKenzie paid the price for playing back to Muralitharan and was bowled off stump.

Mark Boucher brought the scores level by pulling Fernando for four to reach 22 not out before Pollock, who was unbeaten on 99 in South Africa's first innings, had the final say.

South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock (captain), Andrew Hall, Steve Elworthy, Makhaya Ntini.

Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu (captain), Jehan Mubarak, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Hashan Tillakaratne, Hasantha Fernando, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Chamila Gamage, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Marcus Prior for BBC Sport
"Great credit to both teams for looking to win"
All the reports from the Test match

Day five

Day four

Day three

Day two

Day one


See also:

19 Nov 02 | Photo Galleries
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