GALLE – The Proteas had their first taste of what awaits them on this Sri Lankan tour on a captivating opening morning of the series.
After the fast bowlers feasted on lively tracks back home over the course of the past summer, the conditions here in a steamy Galle are a complete contrast. The pitch, as expected, is dry and offering little if any lateral movement.
Forewarned is forearmed though with the tourists opting for the second specialist spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi alongside Keshav Maharaj. This proved instrumental with Shamsi, who is only playing his second Test, removing Dhananjaya Silva (11) with a beautiful wrong’un that spun between the right-hander’s bat and pad.
This was the second Sri Lankan wicket to fall after Kagiso Rabada made the initial breakthrough when he had Danushka Gunathilaka caught behind for 26.
Rabada certainly showed his class regardless of the conditions, with the World’s No 1 bowler easily the most threatening of the Proteas fast bowlers.
South Africa will hope that the returning Dale Steyn will be more successful with the old ball, especially when it starts to reverse. Steyn requires just three wickets to pass Shaun Pollock’s all-time national record.