Sri Lanka v South Africa Test Betting: More Spin Misery for Tourists

Ed Hawkins

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:46 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2018 4:46 PM UTC

If toss goes against Saffers in Colombo they could get another heavy beating.

<p>Sri Lanka and South Africa meet again in the second Test of the series on Wednesday at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), Colombo. It could be another grim experience for the tourists.</p><p>South Africa suffered a terrible beating in game one. Not that it was a surprise. They were the latest touring team to fall victim to skewed conditions favouring the home outfit, a trend that is making Test cricket look increasingly like a farce.</p><p>We have said before in these pages that the different wickets around the world make it very hard for visiting teams to compete. And when the hosts ‘ramp up’ those conditions we are left with one-sided contests.</p><p>For example, South Africans are used to playing on seaming and swinging decks at home. Or decent batting wickets. What they are not used to is dustbowls which turn square for an army of spin bowlers. It is an alien experience. So they struggle.</p><p>In Galle, South Africa were beaten by a massive 278 runs. They could manage scores of only 126 and 73 (their lowest total since readmission following the end of apartheid) as Sri Lanka’s spinners had them twisting and turning in confusion.</p><p>Dil Perera, the off-break bowler, finished with his best match figures of 10 for 78 after taking 6 for 32 in the second innings while Rangana Herath climbed to ninth on the all-time wickets lists with his 3 for 38.</p><p>The bad news for South Africa ahead of the SSC contest is that the track is expected to take heavy spin again. In the last ten years there have been 11 Tests and six have been won by the side batting first, who have been able to make use of a wearing pitch in the fourth-innings with tweak to the fore. No team has won bowling first.</p><p>So if South Africa lose the toss, they are damned. Another defeat for a touring team in these circumstances will surely in crease the pressure on the governing body to do away with the toss and allow the touring team to decide whether to bat or bowl first.</p><p>Thankfully, the bookies are slow to catch on. You can get 11/10 with <a href=";a=87e126f9-4229-4364-9464-7fbff2763146&amp;f=2">William Hill</a> about a Sri Lanka win. We expect that to stiffen to around 4/6 if Sri Lanka bat.</p><p>Unfortunately, we have to swerve South Africa even if they bat first. The 15/8 with Hills is not value because their key spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, has returned home for personal reasons.</p>
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