Port Elizabeth - Suranga Lakmal took four wickets and gave Sri Lanka a slight edge on
the first day of the first Test against South Africa at St George's Park
LIVE: SA V SRI LANKA, DAY 1
Opening bowler Lakmal took four for 62 in 23 overs as
South Africa reached 267 for six at the end of a day on which top scorer
JP Duminy admitted the hosts had failed to capitalise on a century
opening partnership between Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar.
"It was a
bold move to bat first on a pitch with a bit of grass on it," said
Duminy, who made 63 before falling to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
way Dean and Stephen started was exceptional. Unfortunately we didn't
capitalise. Quite a few of us got starts but no-one got a hundred."
Lakmal took the first three wickets and later dismissed South African captain Faf du Plessis. Herath took two for 48.
Du Plessis won the toss and decided to bat on a well-grassed but slow
pitch, it was anticipated that the first two hours would be the most
difficult for batsmen, with early life expected from moisture in the
Cook (59) and Elgar (45) were seldom troubled as they reached 92 for no wicket at lunch.
thoughts of a South Africa run feast in the afternoon were spoiled by
Lakmal in a superb spell immediately after lunch. He was backed up well
by Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Pradeep as only 13 runs were added in 10.2
overs for the loss of both openers.
"Suranga bowled exceptionally
well," said Sri Lankan batsman Kaushal Silva. "The first two hours
didn't go our way. It was a bit slow and there wasn't much movement but
we came back strongly.
"Suranga stuck to his plans and that gave
us the advantage after lunch. He bowled a good line and length and that
got him the wickets."
Cook was stuck on the crease as he edged a
ball from Lakmal that seamed away from him, with wicketkeeper Dinesh
Chandimal taking a good, low catch to end an opening stand of 104.
one run was added off the next 29 balls before the left-handed Elgar
pushed at a ball angled across him to present a second catch to
Duminy threatened to swing the balance back to South
Africa. The left-hander hit the first ball he faced from Lakmal through
the covers for four and raced to 34 off the first 23 balls he faced,
including eight fours.
By contrast, Hashim Amla, who came in at
number three, struggled to find his timing, scoring only 20 runs off 76
balls before Lakmal returned to the attack immediately after tea and had
him caught behind.
It was a continuation of a poor run of form by
Amla, who scored only 98 runs at an average of 16.60 during South
Africa's series victory in Australia last month.
meant that Amla's Test career average dipped below 50 for the first time
in more than four years. But Duminy said Amla's cool head had been an
important contributor to their third wicket stand of 73.
helped was Hash at the other end reminding me that what happened the
ball before doesn't matter, to concentrate on each ball," said Duminy.
added a lot of value to my innings. We've all been through stages in
our career where there's a lack of runs but he's a quality player and
I've no doubt that a big hundred is just around the corner."
lost his earlier fluency as the Sri Lankans altered their line to
prevent his flow of off-side drives. He eventually lost patience and
missed a sweep against Herath to be given out leg before wicket.
He sought a review but umpire Bruce Oxenford's decision was shown to be correct. Duminy made 63 off 95 balls with ten fours.
Sri Lankans successfully reviewed a decision by Oxenford four overs
later when Temba Bavuma went back to Herath and was originally given not
out when he was struck on the pads.
Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis (captain), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott
Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, K Perera, Rangana Herath, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep