Sri Lanka are going to keep playing their shots and South Africa are going to have to stay patient on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban on Saturday, according to Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier.
The tourists are chasing 304 for a shock victory and they reached 83 for three at stumps on the third day on Friday. That leaves Sri Lanka with 221 runs still to get and South Africa are seeking seven wickets.
“We’re quite confident of winning, we need to do the basics well, over and over again, and be patient. It’s probably their game-plan to play a few shots, but that brings us into the game, it gives us the chance to take wickets. If we graft hard then we will get our reward later on.
“This is a different pitch to against Pakistan, it’s a bit slower, but we just need to land the ball in good areas because there’s a bit more nip and they even got a bit of swing. The bounce is a bit slower, but we just need to bowl the right line and keep testing them. Our whole bowling unit has really stuck to their guns,” Olivier said after the third day’s play.
The man of the series against Pakistan has not had a massive say against Sri Lanka thus far, taking one for 36 in 13 overs in the first innings, but he did remove one of the key batsmen on Friday when he had Kusal Mendis caught behind for a duck.
Olivier’s theory about Sri Lanka playing their shots was certainly true in Kusal’s case as, in a moment of madness while still on 0, he tried to ramp an Olivier bouncer and only succeeded in giving wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock an easy catch.
It’s probably safe to say that Olivier will be bowling many deliveries of similar length on Saturday.
“I understand my role and what I need to do, it’s similar to against Pakistan, just to be relentless, stay patient, because it’s not the sort of pitch on which you can blast out teams, and I do enjoy doing that,” Olivier said.