Faf du Plessis fell one run short of a maiden double century as the Proteas piled on the runs against Sri Lanka on Monday.
The home side were brutal on a depleted Sri Lankan bowling attack, posting a mammoth first-innings total of 621.
Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma resumed the third-day’s action and shared a brilliant 179-run partnership, which was only ended when Bavuma (71) walked off despite television replays showing that he didn’t knick the ball.
‘I heard a sound and my first instinct was to walk,’ Bavuma said post match. ‘I’m not happy [with myself]’.
Du Plessis, though, brought up his tenth Test century through a combination of touch and power. He was ably supported by Keshav Maharaj, who hit a couple of massive blows on his way to a well-played half century of his own.
Du Plessis looked set to bat until 2021 until a lapse in concentration saw him mistime a big shot to Du Plessis mid-on. Du Plessis and his team-mates looked devastated, but his was an immense effort that put his side in control of the Test.
Maharaj was eventually the last wicket to fall when he departed for 64, the Proteas finishing with a lead of 225.
Lungi Ngidi made early inroads for the Proteas, knocking over Dimuth Karunaratne for only six, before knicking off Kusal Mendis for a duck.
Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal batted well to see out the remainder of the day. Sri Lanka are 65-2 at stumps, still trailing the Proteas by 160 runs.
Proteas: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock (c) (wk), Temba Bavuma, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C) KJ Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.