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Late wickets peg Sri Lanka back on day 1

Late wickets peg Sri Lanka back on day 1


Sri Lanka lost 3 late wickets in the final hour of play on day 1 of the 2nd Test against South Africa at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, as South Africa snuck ahead having made 222 in their 1st innings.

South Africa would have been disappointed with their performance with the bat, after winning the toss and opting to take first lease of the wicket, as they only managed 222, in just over 61 overs. It certainly wasn't pretty cricket by Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne in reply, to start things off for the visitors, yet the pair battled through to frustrate the hosts' bowlers and wear off the new ball, putting on 25 for the 1st wicket.

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Sri Lanka had a bit of luck with the ball flying through the slips on more than a couple of occasions but the Proteas had their way at the end of the day, as Karunaratne was caught well by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada and Oshada Fernando chopped on a few overs later, beaten for pace by Duanne Olivier. Kusal Mendis drove beautifully off the back foot, reigniting the hope that he may be getting back into form, but Olivier had the better of him too, moving the ball away to have him caught behind. Kasun Rajitha came out as night-watchman and survived the 1 ball he faced. Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka got off to a perfect start via left-armer Vishwa Fernando once again, as he bowled Dean Elgar through the gap between bat and pad; Elgar just hung the bat out with little foot movement as the ball jagged back to rattle his stumps. No sooner had Hashim Amla taken his guard, he was castled as well, as a full delivery from Fernando snuck through his defenses. Temba Bavuma survived the hat-trick delivery, however, he was caught short of his crease by Kasun Rajitha in the next over to leave South Africa crumbling at 15/3 - a similar situation to what they had faced in the 1st innings of the 1st Test. Markram hit the ball straight to the man at mid-on but Bavuma seemed to think the ball had gotten through the in-field and took off. By the time he turned back, Rajitha had picked up the ball and hit the stumps.

Photo Album : Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test 2019 | Day 1

Aiden Markram and Protea Skipper Faf Du Plessis rebuilt the hosts' innings, with a 58-run partnership for the 4th wicket. It looked like the pair would carry South Africa through to lunch, with some indiscipline creeping into the Lankan bowling, but Karunaratne brought himself on and then snuck through his opposite number's drive with a full delivery to give Sri Lanka their 4th. Du Plessis had been dismissed in the over before lunch in the 1st Test as well. Markram looked like a man on a mission and de Kock just continued from where he left off in the 1st Test. That was before Kasun Rajitha got into his groove, nailing the back-of-a-length deliveries consistently and he had his reward when Markram missed a straight one and was given out LBW. Debutant Wiaan Mulder looked good but didn't last long, falling to the same fate as Markram and Keshav Maharaj soon followed. South Africa were in real danger of being dismissed for less than 200, now stuttering on 157/7, thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Rajitha. Kusal Mendis dropped a tough chance off Suranga Lakmal when de Kock was on 37 and the wicketkeeper made Sri Lanka pay, going on to register his 3rd 50+ score in as many innings this series. Rabada stuck around for support while Sri Lanka dropped two more catches, one which may have cost the visitors their only frontline spinner, Lasith Embuldeniya, who was struck on the thumb and left the field. Dhananjaya De Silva stepped in to bag 2 more wickets, including the crucial one of de Kock as South Africa's innings was curtailed to 222. Sri Lanka still trail by 162 but will feel that they are still in the game and in with a chance of getting a first innings lead, with 7 wickets and 'superman' Kusal Perera still to bat.
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