Kumara (in centre) being congratulated by his teammates after dismissing JP Duminy    Getty Images
Kumara (in centre) being congratulated by his teammates after dismissing JP Duminy Getty Images

Teenage fast bowler Lahiru Kumara, who was added in the playing XI in place of struggling Dushmantha Chameera, struck twice towards the end of session to give Sri Lanka the advantage on Day One in the second Test against South Africa at Cape Town. After being sent in to bat first, South Africa lost their opener Stephen Cook for duck but Hashim Amla (29) and Dean Elgar (36*) stitched a fifty-run stand for the second wicket to lead hosts comeback. But Kumara removed Amla first and then JP Duminy (0) to bring Sri Lanka back into the contest. At lunch, Elgar was out there in the middle with captain Faf du Plessis as South Africa were 69 for 3.

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss and elected to field first. His decision was influenced by the cloud cover at Cape Town, which hinted there will be assistance for his seamers upfront. His bowlers did not disappoint him and made good use of the early conditions, when the ball was moving a bit. Lakmal took no time in sending back in-form South African opener Cook, who was the Man-of-the-Match in the first Test at Port Elizabeth. The centurion from Port Elizabeth did not however trouble the scorers, as a fantastic delivery, which was bowled in the right channel and moved away just a tad bit, was edged by the batsman to the makeshift keeper Kusal Mendis. Dinesh Chandimal had a fever overnight and the Lankans were taking precautions to prevent tiring him out.


This was just the start Sri Lanka and Mathews would have hoped for. But from here, seasoned campaigner Amla joined forces with Elgar, who had decent outings in the first game, and stitched a fifty-run stand for the second wicket. The two started cautiously, with the idea of negotiating the initial period of first hour, which was going to be difficult with the ball moving. The duo of Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep bowled a tight, probing line. Wasim Akram had worked with them ahead of this tour and it was showing in their performance.

But both Amla and Elgar dealt with them efficiently. The duo bade its time, defending all the good deliveries patiently. However, the loose balls got the treatment they deserved, as both Amla and Elgar did not shy away from scoring runs off them. Amla was more cautious of the two and there was a marked change in his stance from the last game. There was lesser gap between his feet as he looked to gain more control on his game. He survived a close lbw call in between off Lakmal s bowling but marched on.

The two kept going and brought in their fifty-run stand for the second wicket in the process. By this time, Mathews had used just the three bowlers and had held back his trump card Rangana Herath and the young Kumara. When he did introduce the latter, towards the later stages of the first session, he would not have hoped for such quick results.

Kumara, who was operating at a serious pace, first got rid of Amla, who played the wrong line and lost his stumps as the 144 kph-delivery sneaked through his defence. Amla scored 29 and added 66 runs with Elgar for the second wicket. In the same over, Kumara dismissed Duminy as well. He produced another delivery with good pace, around 140 kph, which bounced and was sliding down the leg side. Duminy ended up giving a faint edge to it in an attempt to play it on the leg side. Mendis completed a stunning catch and South Africa were all of a sudden 66 for 3 from being 1 down at the same stage.

The pair of Elgar and skipper du Plessis then saw through the remaining overs as South Africa took lunch at 69 for 3.

Brief scores: South Africa 69 for 3 (Dean Elgar 36*, Hashim Amla 29; Lahiru Kumara 2 for 11) vs Sri Lanka.