Danushka Gunathilaka Sri Lanka South Africa Galle Test 2018
Danushka Gunathilaka pulls © AFP

Sri Lanka were 93 for 2 at lunch on Day One of the first Test against South Africa at Galle, on Thursday after Suranga Lakmal opted to bat on what seemed to be a dry track. The Sri Lankans counterattacked from the start, taking on pacers and spinners alike, and maintained a run rate over 3.5 almost throughout the session, Dimuth Karunaratne even top-edging a hook for six, off Dale Steyn, no less.

South Africa opened with Vernon Philander and Steyn, the latter making a comeback after breaking down against India at Cape Town in January. Kagiso Rabada, also returning after an injury, struck first, getting one to lift off a length and finding the edge of Danushka Gunathilaka (26). Danushka added 70 for the first wicket with Karunaratne.

The spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, came on early, and Shamsi bowled Dhananjaya de Silva through the gate. Kusal Mendis held the fort till lunch along with Karunaratne. Maharaj and Shamsi shared 11 of the 26 overs South Africa bowled in the first session.

Lakmal led Sri Lanka in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, who opted out of the Test. Lakmal, the only fast bowler of the side, will be supported by the spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, and Lakshan Sandakan.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 93 for 2 (Danushka Gunathilaka 26, Dimuth Karunaratne 37*; Kagiso Rabada 1 for 17, Tabraiz Shamsi 1 for 10) vs South Africa.