SA looks for clean sweep in final Test

January 12, 2017 8:46 AM

South Africa will look to complete a 3-0 clean sweep over the visiting Sri Lankans when the two teams face off in the third and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium from today.

The match will be a particularly significant one for Hashim Amla, who will join seven of his countrymen before him in an elite group of those who have represented the Proteas in 100 Test matches.

Amla, the most experienced player in a team missing the injured AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, has not had the best series, by his own high standards.

In his last five Tests, he has scored 195 runs at an average of 21.66, with his career average dropping to below 50 for the first time in four years. He will be hoping to make his milestone match a memorable one at a ground where he has hit two of his 25 Test centuries.

South Africa won the first two matches comfortably, in Port Elizabeth by 206 runs and in Cape Town by 282 runs, thanks to first-innings centuries by Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock, and a five-wicket haul for Kagiso Rabada in Sri Lanka’s second bat.

However, Faf du Plessis’ side will be forced to make a change to a successful combination. The pitch, which traditionally offers fast bowlers a lot of assistance, will pose another big challenge to the Sri Lankan batsmen, who have not been able to impose themselves thus far.

They have managed only two individual half-centuries in the first two Tests, with the seaming moment proving a challenge so far.

Angelo Mathews, the captain, has been the side’s most successful batsman, accumulating 149 runs in four innings with a highest of 59. The match will get underway at 1.30 this afternoon.