To be fair, there seemed to be little to fear from the tourists when they arrived in South Africa last week.
Coming from a behoorlike pak Down Under where Australia whitewashed them in their recent Test series, the Lankans were a team in disarray.
They came here with skipper Dinesh Chandimal axed after a disastrous tour in which he only made 24 runs.
The Proteas, meanwhile, were riding high after beating Pakistan 3-0 in their Test series.
The Lankans weren’t afforded a warm-up game and CSA didn’t really make a big thing about announcing the tourists with a big press conference ahead of the series.
There was nothing. None of the regular pleasantries you normally expect ahead of a Test series.
When the Proteas did talk to the press, all the talk was about how they were going to dominate the Asians.
South Africa even had the luxury of picking a side they would usually feel is unbalanced.
Ahead of the match, skipper Faf du Plessis mulled over his options of either playing with a four-man pace attack and a spinner.
Or bring in an allrounder in young Wiaan Mulder, just to bolster the batting line-up.
In the end, Faf and the selectors went with a five-man bowling attack and just six recognised batsmen.
And they can thank their lucky stars that batsman No.6 actually got some runs.
Quinton de Kock made 80, the only South African to score over 50, as they hobbled to 235 all out at Kingsmead.
The Proteas were in trouble at 17/3 and 89/4.
And De Kock was honest in his assessment of how the Proteas top order failed to get big runs.
After Day One, he said: “I think they caught us off guard.
“Going forward, we’ll be much more alert to the bowling up front. We’ve understood that Suranga Lakmal is a serious opening bowler that we have seen a lot of, and have good plans for, but were a bit unaware of the new guys.”
Well, well, well.
See, this is what I will never understand.
How can a bunch of player who want to call themselves the best be so badly prepared - even against the lowly Lankans?
Ahead of the match, reports were going around that some of the batsmen were in the nets.
Those same reports claim that Hashim Amla was working with the fast bowlers.
Huh? I hope he got some practice in ahead of his knock of three whole runs before being caught in two minds for his dismissal.
I’ve heard many times about this “optional training” at the Proteas, but this is just getting ridiculous now.