Rain may spoil Sri Lanka's chances

Sri Lanka 470

& 211 for four decl.

South Africa 189 & 21 for two

COLOMBO, AUG. 14. Sri Lanka's hopes of securing its first-ever Test series victory against South Africa could be decided by the weather after heavy rain on Saturday restricted play to just eight overs on the fourth day of the second cricket Test.

The Sri Lankans remain in firm control of the match after they grabbed two quick wickets in the 44 minutes of play possible, as South Africans struggled to 21 runs when rain ended play as they chased 492 for victory.

But further rain is forecast for Sunday, which could thwart Sri Lanka's efforts to win the series after the first Test was drawn.

Sri Lanka's bowlers had South Africans on the back foot early in their innings, after the home side declared at the overnight score of 211 for four wickets after the first two sessions were lost to rain.

Opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs, who was out for a first ball duck in the first innings, scored only four before being dismissed by paceman Lasith Malinga with the total on four.

A quick bouncer from Malinga in the second over of the innings flew off Gibbs' bat to Thilan Samaraweera at backward square-leg.

Five overs later Martin van Jaarsveld edged a Chaminda Vaas attempted yorker into the stumps after scoring just two.

Play began only at 4 00 p.m. local time because of persistent drizzling that followed heavy overnight rain.

However, further heavy rains forced the umpires to abandon play just 44 minutes later.

Sri Lankan skipper Marvan Atapattu and Kumar Sangakkara scored half centuries in their second innings to tighten the home side's grip on the match, after the visitors were dismissed for just 189 in their first innings. — AP

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