Mathews sees Philander's motive

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews lamented a Test match marred by accusations of ball-tampering, as South Africa concluded a 153-run victory on day five at the Galle International Stadium on Sunday.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews lamented a Test match marred by accusations of ball-tampering, as South Africa concluded a 153-run victory on day five at the Galle International Stadium on Sunday.

While first-innings centuries from the left-handed Dean Elgar and JP Duminy and Man of the Match figures of nine for 99 from fast bowler Dale Steyn highlighted the statistics, all-rounder Vernon Philander's guilty plea overshadowed the result.

Philander copped a 75 percent match fee fine for breaching clause 42.1 of the International Cricket Council's playing conditions, after recorded footage viewed by umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough showed the ball being scratched with fingers and thumb.

"It is unfortunate if someone tampers with the ball and they get the better out of it. It's unfortunate for the opposition. It shouldn't happen and umpires need to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Mathews.

"It's not within the laws and you can't really tamper the ball. But they did it to try and make the ball reverse swing. It did. There was not as much reverse on Sunday as on the third afternoon, to be honest. With the wind the ball comes in, but the third afternoon it was reversing quite a lot."

Proteas fielder Faf du Plessis was the subject of a similar indiscretion in October 2013, during the second Test against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. He, like Philander, pleaded guilty.

The second and final Test will get underway at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Thursday.

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