JP Duminy steered the Proteas to 174-2 at tea on day one of the first Test at St George’s Park.
The pressure was certainly on Sri Lanka ahead of the second session of this Test. Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat. The Proteas took their time building a platform during the first hour of play. They then accelerated in the period before lunch.
Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar ensured that the hosts surpassed the 100-mark after the break. Sri Lanka, however, responded during the initial stages of the second session.
Suranga Lakmal targeted the area outside the off-stump with terrific consistency. A straighter delivery found the edge of Cook’s bat, and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal took the catch. Four overs later, Lakmal and Chandimal combined again to dismiss Elgar.
Suddenly, the Proteas were 105-2. Two new batsmen were at the crease, and the out-of-sorts Hashim Amla was one of them. Amla took 23 balls to get off the mark.
By contrast, Duminy looked to be in sublime touch. The left-handed batsman made his intentions clear when he drove the first delivery he faced – from Lakmal – for four. Thereafter, Duminy continued to find the offside fence regularly.
Duminy stroked nine boundaries during the second session at St George’s Park. If Duminy continues in this vein after tea, the Proteas will be favourites to post a commanding first-innings total and take control of this Test.
Sri Lanka are not out of it yet, though. Lakmal may add to his wicket-tally in the coming session, and form spinner Rangana Herath could become more of a factor as the pitch dries out.
SA 174-2 – Cook 59, Duminy 46 not out, Elgar 45, Lakmal 2-35