A brilliant Leus du Plooy century has allowed SA Invitation XI to get to 285-8 by stumps on day two, trailing Sri Lanka by 88 runs.
After four fifties were struck on day one, Sri Lanka went into day two in Potchefstroom on a comfortable 328-6, but Duanne Olivier pegged them back with the ball, before Du Plooy obliterated their bowling attack.
Knights paceman Olivier took three wickets on Monday, all bowled, to finish with impressive figures of 4-54, putting his hand up for higher honours once again. Cobras spinner George Linde then wrapped up proceedings, seeing off veteran campaigner Rangana Herath for 13, as the last four wickets fell for just 45 runs.
Aiden Markram showed great intent in response as he struck three fours off Suranaga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep, but his positivity came back to bite him as he edged one behind to Dinesh Chandimal to depart for 16. Skipper Omphile Ramela didn’t last too much longer as he fell for 11, but Du Plooy appeared untroubled throughout in what can be seen as a breakthrough day for the 21-year-old Knights prodigy.
He hit no less than 25 fours – that number being the next highest score (from Khaya Zondo and Linde) as the rest of the lineup batted around him. He would eventually depart for 142 with four overs left in the day.
The match looks good value for a draw now as the sides head into the final day with the hosts trailing by 88 runs with two wickets in hand.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images