South African fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander plunged Sri Lanka into trouble on the second morning of the first Test at Kingsmead on Thursday.
Sri Lanka were 133 for six at lunch, still 102 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 235. They lost five wickets in adding 84 runs during the morning.
Steyn and Philander did the early damage, taking three wickets in the first ten overs of the morning, before fellow fast bowlers Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada followed up with a wicket each.
Steyn struck in the third over of an overcast day when Oshada Fernando went across his stumps and was given out leg before wicket for 19. After consultation with captain Dimuth Karunaratne he decided not to seek a review, although replays showed the ball was missing his leg stump.
Philander claimed the key wicket of Karunaratne, who was trapped leg before wicket for 30 in the next over.
Philander followed up by having Kusal Mendis caught at second slip for 12 before Olivier, with his second ball of the day, had Niroshan Dickwella caught at third man off a leading edge for eight.
Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka's last recognised batsmen, added 43 runs for the sixth wicket, both playing aggressive strokes, before De Silva hooked Rabada to fine leg to be out for 23 in the last over before lunch. Perera was unbeaten on 37.
South Africa 235.
Sri Lanka 133-6 (D. Karunaratne 30, K. Perera 37 not out; D. Steyn 2-24, V. Philander 2-32).
Plucky Sri Lankans expose Proteas’ flawed pitch plan
Seamer Vishwa Fernando bagged four wickets as Sri Lanka took the honours on day one of the first test against South Africa by reducing their hosts to 235 all out at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
The tourists were 49 for one in reply, trailing by 186 runs on a lively wicket that appeared to get easier to bat on.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (28 not out) and the attacking Oshada Fernando (17 not out) will resume on the second morning, hoping to lay the platform for a sizeable first innings lead.
Sri Lanka opener Lahiru Thirimanne was their only wicket to fall, batting for close to half an hour before he was caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for a duck off seamer Dale Steyn.
It was the perfect start to the tour for the Sri Lankans, who endured two heavy test defeats on their recent trip to Australia and have not won a game in any format since October.
South Africa’s innings was rescued to a degree by a fighting 80 from De Kock before he was the last man out, having at least taken his side past the 200 mark.
“We need to get off to a good start tomorrow and try and find a way to strike early,” De Kock told reporters.
“They (Sri Lanka) have shown some good intent within their batsmen and will look to score quickly. We will have to figure out how we go about getting wickets.”
De Kock said they were not surprised by the quality of the visitors’ bowling attack on a helpful wicket.
“Sri Lanka have always had a good pace attack, they have skill and their lines and lengths were tight as always. Here, a bit more movement off the wicket really assists them.”
After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Sri Lanka had South Africa three wickets down with 17 runs on the board before Faf du Plessis (35) and Temba Bavuma (47) put on 72 for the fourth wicket to calm home nerves.
But the tourists continued to chip away at the wickets column despite a positive run-rate from the hosts.
Fernando (4-62) was impressive with the new ball as he had both openers Dean Elgar (0) and Aiden Markram (11) back in the changing rooms early.
South Africa 1st innings
Aiden Markram b Vishwa Fernando 11
Dean Elgar c Niroshan Dickwella b Vishwa Fernando 0
Hashim Amla c Kusal Mendis b Suranga Lakmal 3
Temba Bavuma Run Out Vishwa Fernando 47
Faf du Plessis c Niroshan Dickwella b Kasun Rajitha 35
Quinton de Kock c Vishwa Fernando b Kasun Rajitha 80
Vernon Philander c&b Kasun Rajitha 4
Keshav Maharaj c Niroshan Dickwella b Vishwa Fernando 29
Kagiso Rabada c Oshada Fernando b Vishwa Fernando 3
Dale Steyn b Lasith Embuldeniya 15
Duanne Olivier Not Out 0
Extras 0b 6lb 2nb 0pen 0w 8
Total (59.4 overs) 235 all out
Fall of Wickets : 1-0 Elgar, 2-9 Amla, 3-17 Markram, 4-89 du Plessis, 5-110 Bavuma, 6-131 Philander, 7-178 Maharaj, 8-186 Rabada, 9-219 Steyn, 10-235 de Kock
Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 14-3-29-1, Vishwa Fernando 17-1-62-4, Kasun Rajitha 14.4- 0- 68-3, Dimuth Karunaratne 3-0-9-0, Lasith Embuldeniya 10-1-51-1, Oshada Fernando 1-0-10-0
Sri Lanka 1st innings
Dimuth Karunaratne Not Out 28
Lahiru Thirimanne c Quinton de Kock b Dale Steyn 0
Oshada Fernando Not Out 17
Extras 3b 1lb 0nb 0pen 0w 4
Total (16.0 overs) 49-1
Fall of Wickets : 1-19 Thirimanne
To Bat : Perera, Mendis, de Silva, Dickwella, Lakmal, Fernando, Rajitha, Embuldeniya
Bowling: Dale Steyn 5-1-10-1. Vernon Philander 4-0-14-0, Kagiso Rabada 2-1-1-0, Duanne Olivier 2-0-2-0, Keshav Maharaj 2-0-13-0, Dean Elgar 1-0-5-0