Centurion - AB de Villiers fell agonisingly short of a century as South Africa moved
to 303 for seven on the second day of the first Test.
half-century by AB de Villiers took South Africa into what could prove
to be a valuable lead.
South Africa were 257 for five at tea, a lead of 77 after Sri Lanka were bowled out for 180 in the first innings.
a day when batsmen continued to struggle on a difficult pitch, De
Villiers made 56 not out. He shared an unbroken sixth wicket partnership
of 84 with Ashwell Prince (38 not out).
Star South African batsmnan Jacques Kallis was the most notable victim of a pitch with uneven bounce.
before lunch he ducked into a bouncer from Dilhara Fernando, which
barely rose above stump height, and took a heavy blow on the left
earpiece of his batting helmet.
He collapsed next to the pitch but after receiving treatment for seven minutes he carried on batting.
was on 25 when he was hit, on 27 when he was dropped by wicketkeeper
Kaushal Silva off Fernando and was out for 31 shortly after lunch,
caught at third slip off Chanaka Welegedera.
Silva also dropped
Prince, on 26, when the batsman got a thick edge to an attempted cut off
left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. Prince earlier survived a chance to
Thisara Perera at backward point off the luckless Fernando when he was
Perera struck two important blows for the tourists in the
morning, having Hashim Amla (18) and Jacques Rudolph (44) caught in the
But he was struck for three fours in an over by Kallis
soon afterwards. Kallis looked South Africa's most accomplished batsman
before his injury.
Rudolph, batting with a splint on his left
little finger after suffering a dislocation while fielding on Thursday,
battled for 229 minutes and 140 balls for his 44.
De Villiers was
more watchful than usual but picked up the pace with a flurry of strokes
which took him to his half-century off 91 balls.