GALLE – South Africa face an uphill battle for the remainder of the first Test against Sri Lanka at tea on the second day. The Sri Lankans are currently on 25 without loss, with an overall lead of 186 runs with all 10 wickets still intact.
The Proteas were bundled out for just 126 to concede a massive 161-run first innings deficit. After South Africa’s first seven wickets fell to the spin of Dilruwan Perera (4/46), Rangana Herath (2/39) and Lakshan Sandakan (1/18), the Sri Lankan captain Suranga Lakmal (3/21) mopped up the tail with his seamers to send the Proteas packing for 126. It is South Africa’s lowest total in 25 years on the island.
There was some resistance for the seventh wicket with Proteas capatain Faf du Plessis (49 off 88 balls) and Vernon Philander (18) sharing a 64-run partnership. But both set batsmen were dismissed on the same total – 115 – to bring the innings to a rapid close.
Sri Lanka’s openers Danushka Gunathilaka (10 not out) and Dimuth Karunaratne (15 not out) capitalised on this advantage as they stretched their team’s lead without too much alarms.