The Proteas need three more wickets to end the Sri Lankan resistance on day three at St George’s Park.
Sri Lanka will look to chip away at the deficit – which stood at 105 runs at the start of day three – and further frustrate South Africa. They will rely on Dhananjaya de Silva (43 not out) to edge them closer to the Proteas’ first innings score of 286.
The hosts will be looking to end the Sri Lankan resistance as soon as possible. They will take heart from the fact that the pitch assisted the seam bowlers on day two. South Africa lost their last four wickets in fewer than nine overs during the first session on Tuesday. Overall, 11 wickets fell on day two.
As many as 22 overs were lost on day two due to a slow-over rate and the bad light in the final session. It is hoped that an extended second session on day three will make up for the lost time.
Vernon Philander believes that a lead of 80-plus would be a good one. ‘It is getting harder and harder to score out there,’ he said. ‘The pitch still offers a bit if you come in hard, but it is easier to score when the ball is softer. The new ball will be key in all the innings,’ he added.
But there are still 23 overs to go before the new ball becomes available in this innings.
The South Africans will be hoping they won’t need it
SA 1st innings 286 – Duminy 63, Cook 59, Lakmal 5-63, Herath 2-48
SL 1st innings 181-7 – De Silva 43 not out, Mathews 39, Philander 3-35, Abbott 2-49,
Sri Lanka trail by 105 runs
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images