After handing the ascendancy to South Africa on the opening day, Sri Lanka landed several blows late in the opening session on the second day to pull things back. South Africa went to Lunch at 256 for 5 with a lead of 99, having added 108 in the session. However, in what was turning out to be a largely uneventful session, Sri Lanka bagged four wickets to stage a comeback of sorts.
The day started with the Sri Lankan bowlers dishing out several half-volleys for both Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen to take advantage of. Elgar eased to this 13th Test ton off 133 deliveries in the 42nd over. In the next over, van der Dussen drove one past the bowler to complete his half-century as the duo pushed South Africa into the lead.
While the Sri Lankan bowlers lacked bite, they lacked support from their fielders as well. Van der Dussen was dropped at second slip by Kusal Mendis just before he completed his half-century. The Elgar-Dussen pair extended its association to 184 but a nothing shot from Elgar gave Sri Lankan an opening. Dushmantha Chameera floated one on length and Elgar hung his bat out to edge the ball to first slip. The score went from 218 for 1 to 218 for 3 as van der Dussen fell to another poorly executed stroke. The length ball down the leg side from Dasun Shanaka was gloved to the ‘keeper by the right-hander as he fell for 67.
Shanaka had more fire in his belly as he nipped out Faf du Plessis by opening him with a delivery that left him from length. Quinton de Kock fell to Vishwa Fernando for 10 as South Africa slipped to 241 for 5. The hosts, however, have a sizeable lead and will aim to build on that. While the Sri Lankan bowlers have come to the party, apprehensions remain if their batsmen will join especially after their poor show on the opening day.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 157 (Kusal Perera 60; Anrich Nortje 6-56) train South Africa 256/5 (Dean Elgar 127; Dasun Shanaka 2-42) by 99 runs.