DIMUTH KARUNARATNE will have to wait until Monday’s final day of the second four-day ‘Test’ between Sri Lanka A and South Africa A to complete his eighth first-class century.
At stumps on the third day the Sri Lankan captain was unbeaten on 99 (192 balls, 9 fours and a six) following his innings of 83 on the first day.
Sri Lanka closed on 217/3 for an overall lead of 263 and Karunaratne’s toughest decision will now be to time his declaration correctly. South Africa lead the series 1-0 and Sri Lanka have to win this match to square the series.
Karunaratne was well supported by Dilruwan Perera (51 off 98 balls, 6 fours and a six) who shared a partnership of 110 for the first wicket in 33 overs that effectively prevented the South Africans from getting back into the match.
The home side had started the day well thanks to a partnership of 82 for the ninth wicket between Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer. Parnell was last man out for the top score of the innings of 70 (120 balls, 9 fours) to underline his potential as an all-rounder.
He completed his 1 000 first-class runs in the final round of the SuperSport Series last season and also has 94 wickets. It should thus not take him long to complete the double of 1 000 runs and 100 wickets. He might have reached 100 wickets some time ago but for the fact that his appearances in first-class cricket in recent seasons have been limited both by his commitments to the Proteas’ squad and injury.