Even with only half the Test mini-series in Sri Lanka completed - a frankly shameful first-match hiding from the much lower-ranked outfit in two-and-a-bit days in Galle - there is a case for saying South Africa have now suffered at least three notable, ugly experiences at the hands of Subcontinental spinners over the past three years.
It took less than three days for Sri Lanka to comprehensively beat South Africa and take a 1-0 lead in the Test series.
Chasing a target of 352 after bowling Sri Lanka out for 190 in their second innings, the South African batsmen simply showed their deficiencies against spin on a pitch that did not afford the kind of turn that is usually associated with the venue.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera bowled unchanged from one end to claim career-best figures of 6-32 - his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests - and end with match figures of 10-78. South Africa do not play Tests in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh at all between 2019 and 2023, but will tour India in October next year for three Tests and need to be better equipped for the challenge. We've played in conditions like this before, and they are low scoring games. "It's not even the same quality as a Perera", South African skipper Faf du Plessis said.
Having established a lead of 161, Sri Lanka quickly set about extending it when they began their second innings, with the openers putting on a 51-run partnership.
South Africa face a tall order to save the match on a crumbling pitch with plenty of assistance for spin bowlers. Perera picked four wickets while skipper Suranga Lakmal wrapped things up with three wickets skittling out the tail without much ado. "But there weren't any demons in the wicket at any stage while we were playing".
The batsmen were left in a daze by Dilruwan Perera, the off-spinner, and Rangana Herath, the veteran left-arm spinner, who supervised this demolition job with 6/32 and 3/38 respectively.
Sri Lanka won by 278 runs.
They didn't just tell themselves it was going to be tough to play Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, which is a reasonable expectation, but they seem to have talked themselves into thinking it would be impossible. He was there the whole time for them in the first innings. Keshav Maharaj took 4-58 and Kagiso Rabada claimed 3-44 to finish with seven wickets overall.
"I had to work really hard on this wicket. We want to get stuck in and bat for as long as possible".
"We didn't expect to get them bowled out for 126, though". The duo bowled unchanged for 28 overs with the new ball before left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan accounted for last man Tabraiz Shamsi in his first over to complete the win 13 minutes before tea.