Sri Lanka presented an impressive bowling display guided by Viswa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha – both picking three wickets each to restrict South Africa within 222 runs on day one of the second Test at Port Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, after electing to bat first, left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando cleaned up both Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla in quick succession, before Temba Bavumu succumbed to a cheap run out by Kasun Rajitha at mid-on to make it 15 for three. However, this couldn’t deter Aiden Markram who played some delightful shots and tried bail the Proteas out partnering skipper Faf du Plessis (25). But the comeback was cut short when du Plessis missed a full, straight one from captain Dimuth Karunaratne on the stroke of lunch.
Entering proceedings at 73 for four, de Kock emitted confidence. Markram reached his fifty off 101 balls, and the opener’s resoluteness and de Kock’s adventure combined well. But while the Proteas needed the duo to build on the partnership’s positive launch, Rajitha, who bossed the second session, emerged to trap Markram lbw. De Kock, who looked in sublime touch partnered Kagiso Rabada to take the total over 200 run mark. Duanne Olivier was the last batsman to get out gifting Fernando his third wicket.
Visitors lose three
However, Sri Lanka lost three late wickets as Kagiso Rabada removed Dimuth Karunaratne for a 42-ball 17 after Sri Lanka’s openers had soaked up some of the early pressure, and Duanne Olivier saw off Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis to leave Sri Lanka on 60 for three at the end of the day’s play.
With the experienced Lahiru Thirmanne still at the crease, Sri Lanka will pin their hopes on him to bail them out in the morning session of day two and take a good first innings lead. On the other hand, the hosts have tasted blood and will aim to capitalise on that to bowl out Sri Lanka for a small total in an attempt to make a comeback in the series.