The Proteas lost Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram in quick succession as they headed into lunch on 37-2, trailing by 157 runs.
Despite sporting a new-look bowling attack, the Proteas bowlers were lethal as usual as they skittled Sri Lanka for 193.
Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi were dominant over the Sri Lanka batters, taking 4-41 and 4-33 respectively, while Lungi Ngidi took one wicket and created the pressure that gave JP Duminy the opportunity to strike with a brilliant direct hit to remove Upul Tharanga for 10.
Their own bowling was never going to be a concern for the Proteas going into this match, but how they handle the Sri Lankan spin bowling will play a key role in determining who takes the early lead in the series.
Amla and Quinton de Kock looked steady in the first four overs as they raced to 31, but Akila Dananjaya’s third over saw the Sri Lankans pull themselves back into the contest. Dananjaya’s googlies bowled Amla on 19 and then trapped Markram lbw for a duck the next ball.
The Proteas went to lunch with their score on 37-2, and Faf du Plessis and De Kock will be looking for some solid, positive batting to wrap up what should be a relatively simple run chase for the visitors.
Sri Lanka innings 193 – Kusal Perera 81; Tabraiz Shamsi 4-33, Kagiso Rabada 4-41
South Africa 37-2 – Hashim Amla 19; Akila Dananjaya 2-16
Proteas need 157 to win.
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