The Proteas face a testing final session after losing two early wickets on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka. Photo by: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

COLOMBO – The South Africans will have to survive a testing final session, after they went to tea on 23 for two, on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Friday.

Having finally bowled out the hosts for 421, the Proteas lost openers Alviro Petersen and Dean Elgar cheaply, with the former caught and bowled by Rangana Herath for 2, before Elgar was snaffled close to the bat by Kaushul Silva, off the bowling of Diruwan Perera for 1.

Earlier, the Sri Lankans were finally bowled out for 421. Mahela Jayawardene fell for 165, and debutant Niroshan Dickwella, went onto his maiden Test fifty, before falling for 72.

South African seamer Vernon Philander, who was luckless on the first day, got his rewards late in the piece, as he finished with two wickets for 52. Spinner Imran Tahir also got in on the act, having Perera caught by Amla at mid-on.

Amla (2 not out) and Faf du Plessis (17 not out) will resume after tea, with the Proteas still 398 runs in arrears.