Kagiso Rabada's strikes take South Africa closer to win vs Sri Lanka

Updated: Dec 30, 2016, 11:36 IST | AFP

Kagiso Rabada made two crucial breakthroughs as South Africa chipped away at a stubborn Sri Lankan batting order on the fourth day of the first Test at St George's Park


South Africa’s Rabada (second from left) celebrates a Sri Lankan wicket with his teammates at Port Elizabeth yesterday. Pic/AFP

Port Elizabeth: Kagiso Rabada made two crucial breakthroughs as South Africa chipped away at a stubborn Sri Lankan batting order on the fourth day of the first Test at St George's Park yesterday. Sri Lanka were 240 for five at the close of play, with their last two recognised batsmen at the crease, after being set to make an improbable 488 to win. Rabada twice dismissed set batsmen, on both occasions with the second ball of a new spell.

He trapped Kaushal Silva leg before wicket for 48 with his second ball after tea. Then he broke a 75-run partnership between captain Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis. A fast, short delivery bowled from around the wicket induced an involuntary ramp shot by Mendis, who was caught behind by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for 58. In contrast to the first innings, when they were bowled out for 205, with several batsmen playing poor strokes in seam-friendly conditions, South Africa had to work hard for their wickets on a pitch which had lost most of its earlier life.

It took a moment of hesitation to break an opening stand of 87 between Dimuth Karunaratne and Silva, who defied the South African bowlers for 145 minutes before Karunaratne was run out for 43 in the 33rd over.

Silva pushed a ball from left-armer Keshav Maharaj into the covers and set off for a run. Both batsmen hesitated momentarily in mid-pitch, JP Duminy picked up and released the ball quickly to wicketkeeper De Kock, who broke the stumps with a diving Karunaratne.

Brief scores

South Africa 286 & 406-6 decl vs Sri Lanka 240-5 (K Mendis 58, A Mathews 58*; K Rabada 2-72, K Maharaj 2-84)

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South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test, Day 5: Ten Sports 3, 13:30

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