Dale Steyn claimed four wickets against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead on Thursday. Photo: Magma Images via BackpagePix

DURBAN – Fast bowler Dale Steyn took four wickets as South Africa claimed a 44-run first-innings lead at tea on the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead on Thursday.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 191, with an early tea taken when the last wicket fell.

Steyn took 4/48, but was denied a 27th Test five-wicket haul during a 10-over post-lunch spell when tailender Kasun Rajitha gloved him to gully, but Dean Elgar spilled a simple chance.

Steyn took his career tally to 437 Test wickets, passing India’s Kapil Dev (434) and drawing level with Stuart Broad of England in joint seventh place on the all-time list.

Kusal Perera top-scored for Sri Lanka with an aggressive 51 off 63 balls.

When he was caught at deep cover off Steyn, an early end to the innings seemed likely.

But Lasith Embuldeniya and Rajitha defied the bowlers for 55 minutes, adding 32 for the ninth wicket, despite being subjected to numerous short-pitched deliveries.

The stand was eventually ended when Rajitha was run out by sharp fielding by Aiden Markram at short leg when he strayed out of his crease while playing a defensive shot.

Test debutant Embuldeniya was struck several times before he was last man out for 24.