Kaushal Silva remained not out on __     AFP
Kaushal Silva remained not out on 48 AFP

Sri Lanka resumed their chase off 488 runs set by South Africa on Day Four in the post-lunch session without much difficulty. Sri Lanka who went into lunch wicket-less saw a much better performance from their top order batsmen in the second innings. After a solid opening stand, Sri Lanka lost their momentum and handed South Africa the advantage to bring the hosts back into the game. It is Kaushal Silva s resilience that has kept Sri Lanka still in play at 118 for 2. They need another 370 to win on Day Four at tea.

Starting for South Africa Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott extracted extra bounce from a deck that soon saw many ‘oohs and ‘aahs being from the close-in fielders. Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva spent time in the middle and that helped them draw confidence.

LIVE Cricket Scorecard, South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Port Elizabeth

Abbott and Philander continued to bowl a probing line against both batsmen. Soon Kagiso Rabada came into the attack and looked a very different bowler from the first innings. Keshav Maharaj who eyed a few wickets with the pitch offering a bit of assistance joined the party.

Maharaj could have dismissed Kaushal Silva on 31 after a leaping Dean Elgar dropped a tough chance at midwicket. To the batsman’s credit he did survive a few body blows off Radaba s bowling.

The pair soon moved past Sri Lanka s best opening stand in Test in South Africa beating previous best of 70 between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne set in 2012.

South Africa came back into the game with a moment of brilliance from JP Duminy. He picked the ball and threw it midway into the air for Quinton de Kock to knock over the stumps in a flash; Karunaratne was found short of the crease.

Karunaratne contributed 43 runs to the 87-run opening stand for Sri Lanka. Kusal Perera came out at No.3 for Sri Lanka and added 6 before Maharaj got him caught by the keeper. Maharaj got the ball to spin away from the batsman and produced an edge.

Kusal Mendis came out in the middle to bring some normalcy in Sri Lanka s stuttering innings. Maharaj unlike the first innings became more menacing threat to the Sri Lankan batsmen with wind providing him a natural drift from one end.

Maharaj continued to extract both turn and bounce as witnessed by Kaushal Silva who just managed to top edge the ball over first slip trying to play the cut shot.

Brief scores:

South Africa 286 & 406 for 6 decl. (Dean Elgar 52, Stephen Cook 117, Quinton de Kock 69; Dhananjaya de Silva 2 for 74) lead Sri Lanka 205 &118 for 2 (Kaushal Silva 48*, Dimuth Karunaratne 43; Keshav Maharaj 1 for 39) by 370 runs.