After bouncing back in the 3rd session of Day 1, the Sri Lankans had an upsetting day on the field today and the lower middle order of the South African line up fought extremely well to reach a good enough score. Sri Lankan bowlers again disappointed with their bowling efforts today.
The day started with South Africa at 268 for the loss of 5 wickets and with Quinton De Kock at the crease. AB De Villiers was dismissed on the last ball of the first day which made Dale Steyn to come to bat from the start of today. Steyn did not manage to stay at the crease for long and dismissed for 3 runs. He was bowled by Lakmal right in the initial overs of the day. This made JP Duminy come to bat. Now, after being 6 down under 300, South Africa desperately needed a partnership to get back into the game and slowly Duminy and De Kock steadied the innings for the Proteas. De Kock completed his half century and was looking well but he was dismissed by Dilruwan Perera on the 109th over of the innings when he edged a ball and went into the safe hands of Mahela Jayawardena. Vernon Phillander came in next and he started assisting Duminy to build up a solid score for the team. Finally at lunch, South Africans were 331 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.
The second session started with Duminy and Phillander carrying on with their momentum in scoring for the team. None of the Sri Lankan bowlers looked aggressive today and they failed to create much pressure on a tail-ender also. Runs were coming along freely. Also the Sri Lankan bowlers did not manage to extract much from the pitch. The pitch looked dry with no real help for the bowlers and it was a batting paradise. After going with the spinners, the skipper decided to bowl himself and he did manage to dismiss Phillander and in turn broke the good looking partnership of 84 runs.Phillander was dismissed for a score of 27 runs. Duminy was on the other hand playing incredibly well and he kept the scoreboard ticking. Morne Morkel joined him and he too looked to settle down at the crease. Finally, at tea South Africa were 414 runs for the loss of 8 wickets.
The day was not at all productive till then with only about 150 odd runs scored and 3 wickets fell in 2 sessions. So the final session was crucial for both the teams. And it started thus. Duminy was heading towards his century with Morkel assisting him well. Finally, Duminy reached his milestone. He completed his century and South Africa were 455 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Just after his century, the wicket of Morne Morkel fell. He was bowled by Perera and with that wicket South Africa declared their innings on 455 runs and did put a challenge in front of the Lankans to face the death overs of the day. Sri Lanka started their innings steadily and did not try to be aggressive. Both the openers in the form of Kaushal Silva and Upul Tharanga looked to settle down at the crease. They did manage to defend out 12 overs and at stumps, Sri Lanka were 30 runs without losing a wicket.
The third day will be crucial. If Sri Lanka plays well, then the test will be going to be drawn.
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