GALLE: On Thursday, South Africa were at 331-7 at lunch on the second day of the first Test opposed to Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium. JP Duminy was batting on 22 and Vernon Philander was about three.
The second and final Test will be played in Colombo from July 24-28.
On Wednesday, Opener Dean Elgar struck a brilliant century for South Africa, but Sri Lanka came back strongly with four wickets in the last school term to balance the shells on the opening day of the first trial.
Elgar’s 103, his second test century, put South Africa in a potent position in tea on 194 for one, but coming after his dismissal in the third over of the final session, the visitors slid to 268 for five wickets in close.
He first got rid of Elgar, who hit 11 fours and three sixes, when the batsman flashed at a full delivery and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Herath’s tight length frustrated Hashim Amla, who was getting to his debut as test captain, and he ended up colliding with a catch to Perera at extra cover after making only 11. Du Plessis hit five fours and a six during his knock and shared a second-wicket stand of 125 with Elgar.
No more Elgar nor Du Plessis allowed the Sri Lankan spinners any chance to reconcile into a rhythm, using their feet well to block anything pitched on a good distance or getting to the slant of the orb to attain through the line for boundaries.
Later on an opening stand of 70, off-spinner Perera gave Sri Lanka the breakthrough by trapping Petersen leg before on the back foot for 34, a decision confirmed after an unsuccessful review by the batter.
Sri Lanka lost the services of fast bowler Shaminda Eranga in the last session when he sought to arrest a powerful drive from Du Plessis off Herath at mid-off and break the webbing between his right thumb and index finger. “Eranga had eight stitches inserted in the webbing of his right hand and was ineffective to hold the theater of operations,” Sri Lanka manager Michael Zoysa spoke to reporters.