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Dimuth Karunaratne holds firm as South Africa chip away | Cricket

Tea Sri Lanka 161 for six (Karunaratne 80*) v South Africa

Tabraiz Shamsi celebrates the wicket of Dhananjaya de Silva © Associated Press

South Africa burrowed their means by Sri Lanka’s middle-order with a burst of three wickets for 4 runs within the center session, even as Dimuth Karunaratne stood firm on a first-day pitch that’s already taking substantial flip. The Sri Lankan opener was the one one in his line-up to maneuver previous 26, towards a South African assault relying equally on their quicks and spinners.

Kagiso Rabada’s two wickets in three balls put Sri Lanka within the precarious place of 119 for five, whereas the opposite main menace was left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who’s enjoying in his first red-ball Test. Shamsi two strikes – late in each the primary and second classes – tilted the stability of each durations of play South Africa’s means, with the opposite wicket falling to tempo spearhead Dale Steyn.

Steyn took one step near overtaking Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s main Test wicket-taker when he claimed his first wicket of the collection. Kusal Mendis, who had settled in, chipped a full ball within the air to reward Rabada a catch at mid-on. Steyn bowled another over after that after which left the sphere, pointing to his hamstring. He was solely off briefly and returned, however didn’t bowl once more within the session.

Though Steyn additionally left the sphere for a short time within the morning session, he has contributed 10 overs to the trigger, six greater than Vernon Philander, who didn’t bowl after a four-over opening spell. Philander conceded at greater than 5 runs an over, was unsuccessful in going across the wicket to the left-handers and has not been used since.

Instead, Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj have executed the work Philander was being primed for – basically, the donkey work – however each have been in a position to assault as nicely. Maharaj discovered the primary indicators of huge flip and bounce when a ball pitched on center stump and was collected by Quinton de Kock over his proper shoulder, however Shamsi received the primary wicket with spin when he bowled Dhananjaya de Silva by the gate.

That wicket gave South Africa a lift after an brisk morning session from Sri Lanka, wherein they achieved their greatest opening stand in 17 innings, due to Karunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka. Karunaratne was the risk-taker and has supplied the one six of the innings thus far, albeit virtually by chance. He went after a Steyn short-ball and the hook shot sailed over the hole between long-leg and deep-backward-square. Karunaratne did it once more within the center session, gloving the ball previous an outstretched de Kock.

At that stage, Sri Lanka had solely misplaced Gunathilaka, caught behind off Rabada, and Karunaratne and de Silva have been in an excellent place to push on. Karunaratne had introduced up the staff 100 with a steer to backward level, and at last mastered his shot off Steyn, when he received on high of the bounce and pulled by mid-wicket. But then Mendis misjudged his meant push off Steyn and Sri Lanka have been weak.

Sensing that, and hastened by Steyn leaving the sphere, Faf du Plessis introduced Rabada on and his impression was fast. Rabada lured Angelo Mathews ahead with the primary ball of his second spell and located the sting. He then stunned Roshen Silva with a brief ball that he may solely fend to Aiden Markram at quick leg. Sri Lanka teetered, and Rabada continued to threaten. In his subsequent over, Rabada had Niroshan Dickwella given out lbw however Dickwella reviewed and the ball was discovered to be pitching exterior leg. With the following ball, Rabada hit Dickwella on the helmet.

The over after that, Shamsi reviewed what he thought was a catch off Dickwella, however the ball had hit the bottom on its means by to de Kock. Shamsi’s lengths remained constant all through the session, proving his capacity to not get carried away by the power of his variations, and he was rewarded when Dickwella half-pushed ahead and edged to first slip proper when the rains got here down and compelled an early tea.

Karunaratne watched the wickets tumble on the different finish, and has an enormous job to do when it dries up.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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