Dale Steyn picked up the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne after Sri Lanka restricted hosts South Africa to 235 in their first innings, on day 1 of the 1st Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban. At stumps, Sri Lanka were 49/1, trailing by 186.
Vishwa Fernando got Sri Lanka to the perfect start early on in the day, dismissing Dean Elgar with his 4th delivery (2nd over of the day) and should have had his second when he trapped Hashim Amla right in front two deliveries later. Unfortunately for the visitors however, due to a DRS timing error, they were deemed to have taken too long to make the referral and the 3rd umpire was not called upon to make a decision. Nevertheless, Lakmal sent Amla packing a few overs later via another sharp catch by Kusal Mendis at 2nd slip and Fernando bagged the scalp of Aidan Markram soon after to leave the Proteas tottering on 17/3.
Playing just 6 specialist batsmen in the game, it was imperative that South Africa put together a substantial stand and Captain Faf Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma threatened to do just that before Kasun Rajitha had the former caught down the leg side just before the lunch break.
Sri Lanka then had a stroke of luck half an hour into the post-lunch session, as a firm drive by Quinton De Kock, ricocheted off Vishwa Fernando’s boot onto the stumps to catch Bavuma marginally short of his crease at the non-striker’s end.
Wickets kept falling on one end, but De Kock held firm on the other, milking the runs of some loose bowling by the Sri Lankans. He put on invaluable partnerships of 21, 47, 33 and 26 alongside Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn and Duane Olivier respectively to ensure that South Africa posted a respectable total, given the conditions.
For Sri Lanka, Vishwa Fernando was the pick of the bowlers, registering career-best figures of 4/62 while Kasun Rajitha picked up 3/68 as the visitors managed to restrict South Africa to 235, a total they would have been more than happy with at the start of play.
Lahiru Thirimanne’s unimpressive run in Tests since his comeback in Australia continued as he got out playing a rash shot outside the off stump to Dale Steyn. Thirimanne was Steyn’s 434th victim, bringing him on level terms with Sri Lanka’s very own Rangana Herath and Kapil Dev at 8th position in the Highest Wicket Taker’s list in Test cricket.
Thirimanne’s dismissal saw debutant Oshada Fernando walk in and the right-hander looked comfortable in the middle, despite a run-out scare, finishing on 17* at the close of play.
Dimuth Karunaratne continued to be his assured best at the crease and Sri Lanka will hope that their skipper gets some runs as they look to get as close to South Africa’s total as possible.
235/10 & 0/0
49/1 & 0/0
South Africa’s 1st Innings
|Aiden Markram||b V Fernando||11||27|
|Dean Elgar||c N Dickwella b V Fernando||0||4|
|Hashim Amla||c K Mendis b S Lakmal||3||10|
|Temba Bavuma||(runout) V Fernando||47||66|
|Faf du Plessis||c N Dickwella b K Rajitha||35||54|
|Quinton de Kock||c V Fernando b K Rajitha||80||94|
|Vernon Philander||c & b K Rajitha||4||22|
|Keshav Maharaj||c N Dickwella b V Fernando||29||35|
|Kagiso Rabada||c O Fernando b V Fernando||3||16|
|Dale Steyn||b L Embuldeniya||15||26|
|Dane Olivier||not out||0||6|
Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||not out||28||47|
|Lahiru Thirimanne||c de Kock b D Steyn||0||15|
|Oshada Fernando||not out||17||34|