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Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test at Galle: South Africa extend lead to 226 despite losing openers

Sri Lanka 'keeper Dinesh Chandimal celebrates the fall of Dean Elgar on Day 4 © AFP
Sri Lanka ‘keeper Dinesh Chandimal celebrates the fall of Dean Elgar on Day 4 © AFP

By Devarchit Varma

Jul 19, 2014

South Africa lost their openers Dean Elgar and Alviro Petersen in the first session on Day Four, after bowling out Sri Lanka for 292 in their opening Test match of their two-match series at Galle. South Africa were for two after overs, with their second innings lead surging to 226 runs.

Sri Lanka resumed play at 283 for nine with Rangana Herath and Shaminda Eranga at the crease. They were trailing by 172 runs and it was likely that the tourists will earn a huge first-innings lead. Morne Morkel wasted no time when he had Herath caught by AB de Villiers after the two Lankan batsmen added nine runs to their overnight total. South Africa took a lead of 163 runs.

Sri Lanka needed quick wickets and they employed spinners early on. They soon tasted success when Dean Elgar was caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal off Herath, after adding 33 runs with Alviro Petersen.IT was a poor stroke from the batsman as he threw his bat at one that spun in sharply, and the ‘keeper took a good catch.

Sri Lankans were aggressive despite being on the backfoot as they indulged in excessive appealing — as they might attract some action. The hosts soon made the second breakthrough, with Dilruwan Perera beating Petersen’s bat, having him caught behind for 32. The South African opener smashed four boundaries to score 32. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis safely took the hosts into lunch, with 63 runs on board and overall lead being 226 runs.

Earlier on Day Three,  Angelo Mathews cracked a counter-attacking half-century as Sri Lanka reached 283 for nine against South Africa, after Dale Steyn rattled their middle-order with five wickets on the third day of their opening Test at Galle on Friday.

Mathews fell close to stumps at 89 while Rangana Herath  was on 12 not out as the two Sri Lankan batsmen added 71 runs for the eighth wicket to lead Sri Lanka’s fightback, after they were reduced to 201 for seven. Mathews struck 14 fours and a six but was dismissed towards the end of the final session by South Africa spinner Imran Tahir. The Sri Lankan captain faced 182 balls during his stay at the crease.

Resuming their innings at 30 for no loss, Sri Lanka made a poor start as South Africa won the first session. They reduced the hosts to 103 for four, along with removing Sri Lanka’s batting mainstays Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in quick succession. While Sangakkara was cleaned up by Morne Morkel for 24, Steyn trapped Jayawardene in front of the wickets for three as Sri Lanka lost the momentum.

 Brief scores:

South Africa 455 for 9 decl. (Dean Elgar 103, Faf du Plessis 80, JP Duminy 100*; Dilruwan Perera 4 for 162, Suranga Lakmal 3 for 75) & 63 for 2 (Alviro Petersen 32; Dilruwan Perera 1 for 23, Rangana Herath 1 for 24) lead Sri Lanka 292 (Upul Tharanga 83, Lahiru Thirimanne 38, Angelo Mathews 89; Dale Steyn 5 for 54, Morne Morkel 3 for 49) by 226 runs.

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(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)

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