Sri Lanka bowled as well as they have the entire series to pick up four wickets in the morning session and get themselves back into the second Test against South Africa.
The overnight pair of Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen started quickly, going at a rate in excess of four per over for the first half an hour at the crease.
Elgar brought up his century during this period, his 13th in Test cricket. It was an innings of immense focus during which he was brutal on any short or too straight.
However, Elgar’s collapse sparked an almighty implosion, featuring four wickets falling for just 23 runs. Van der Dussen (67) gloved one to the keeper down the leg side before Faf du Plessis got an absolute gem of a delivery that caught his edge. Quinton de Kock followed soon thereafter, edging to second slip.
De Kock looked completely devoid of confidence, reflected in his timing and shot selection. He has done little to counter suggestions that the weight of responsibility he carries is affecting his form. He has had an ordinary Test season to date. The sooner they free him from captaincy in all formats, the better.
It would be remiss not to note the role some excellent bowling played in the tourists’ resurgence. Dusan Shanaka, Dushmantha Chameera and Vishwa Fernando excelled, finding lines, lengths and movement that had been absent from their bowling effort to date.
Temba Bavuma and Wiaan Mulder settled things down, taking the Proteas to 256-5 at lunch, a lead of 99.