Quinton de Kock scored his 17th half-century as the Proteas took a total of 185-7 into tea on day one at St George’s Park. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Proteas’ top order showed no improvement from the previous Test as they flopped again. It once again was left to one batsman to bail the side out, as the Proteas took a total of 73-4 into lunch.
Aiden Markram continued his form from before lunch and played an uncharacteristically slow knock, but it was necessary given the circumstances. Markram managed 60 from 116 balls before he was trapped lbw as the Proteas were knocked five down with their score on 130.
The batten was now passed to the first Test batting hero De Kock, who was left with the tail after debutant Wiaan Mulder was trapped lbw, despite playing two beautiful fours for his nine runs.
Keshav Maharaj lasted only five balls before he fell for a duck just after the Proteas had crept past the 150-run mark. Incoming batsman Kagiso Rabada’s job was to survive while De Kock farmed the strike as much as he could.
De Kock finished on 68 off 72 balls, while Rabada contributed eight runs off 44 balls as they went in to tea on 185-7.
Vishwa Fernando (2-42) and Kasun Rajitha (3-54) were key to Sri Lanka’s dominance, and they will aim to wrap up the hosts after the break in the hope of building a decent first-innings lead to put the Proteas under pressure in the second innings.
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