Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada admitted that he wasn't confident in the build-up to the opening day of the first Test in Galle against Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Stumps Day 1: Proteas lose Markram for 0
Rabada had fully recovered from the lower back injury he sustained in April and played in his first match since the layoff.
The No 1 ranked ICC Test bowler led from the front with a dominant bowling performance as he took 4/50 in 14 overs.
Rabada's team-mate Tabraiz Shamsi impressed in his second Test match as the spinner took a career best return of 3/91 in 25.4 overs.
Bowling for the first time in a Test match in Sri Lanka, Rabada admitted that he was trying to hit a good length despite the lack of bounce.
"Coming into this Test match, I wasn't feeling very confident. I wasn't feeling bad but I wasn't feeling good either. So I just tried to hit a good length," said Rabada after the day's play.
"Luckily enough I got first wicket and then in the second spell, two wickets in three balls, it doesn't always happen but I'll take it and I'm glad."
"There's some decent bounce at the top end, I thought the seamers got a bit out of the top and you're also bowling with the wind. The ball is already turning from ball one so the spinners are in the game as we've already seen," said the fast bowler.
The Proteas struggled to dismantle the tail-enders, as Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne carried his bat to score an unbeaten 158 as the hosts were bowled out for 287.
"It was quite frustrating but you know it's cricket and that's the way it goes sometimes. We'll be looking at how to better handle the situation," said Rabada.
The Proteas will resume of on day two on 4/1 with Dean Elgar and nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj in the middle.
Play starts at 06:30 SA time.