Du Plessis was unbeaten on 72 while De Kock made 55 before being leg before wicket to debutant left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya at Kingsmead. @AFP

Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock hit half-centuries as South Africa stretched their lead on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.

South Africa were 227 for five in their second innings at lunch, a lead of 271 runs. (FULL SCORECARD: 1st TEST)

Du Plessis was unbeaten on 72 while De Kock made 55 before being leg before wicket to debutant left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya at Kingsmead.

Resuming on 126 for four, South African captain Du Plessis and wicketkeeper De Kock were largely untroubled on an easy-paced pitch until De Kock went back to a ball from Embuldeniya which spun into the left-hander and kept low. (ALSO READ: TV broadcaster reveals South Africa’s strategy against Sri Lanka batsmen)

De Kock was the more aggressive partner in a stand of 96 which eased South African nerves after the hosts had been struggling at 95 for four. De Kock made his runs off 62 balls with six fours. (ALSO READ: Dale Steyn surpasses Kapil Dev in Test wickets)

Du Plessis had faced 139 deliveries by lunch, hitting ten fours. Embuldeniya had figures of three for 51.