The Proteas were reduced to 91-5 as they took a 159-run lead into tea on day two of the second Test at St George’s Park. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Proteas found themselves in a troublesome position once again after lunch. Having skittled Sri Lanka for 154 and taken a 78-run lead into lunch for the loss of Dean Elgar’s wicket, the Proteas were looking for a solid batting performance in the afternoon session.
Disaster struck soon after the break as the Proteas lost two wickets at the hands of Kasun Rajitha. Aiden Markram (18) was first to go after he guided a flick down the onside where Oshada Fernando, at short midwicket, held a smart catch. Not long after, Temba Bavuma (6) got a thick nick to the keeper to leave the Proteas rocking at 51-3.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis joined a cautious Hashim Amla at the crease and decided to take on the responsibility of playing a lot more aggressively than his partner.
Du Plessis scored at close to a run a ball, a tactic which helped to grow the lead at a healthy rate. Amla played the anchor role at the other end, taking 72 balls to reach 32, as which was when Dhananjaya de Silva found his edge as the Proteas lost their fourth wicket for 90 runs.
Quinton de Kock came to the crease, faced seven balls and scored just one run before he lifted a Suranga Lakmal delivery straight back to the bowler. This saw the Proteas take a 159-run lead into tea with just five wickets in hand.
Faf du Plessis ended the session on 31, and will be joined by debutant Wiaan Mulder after the break in what will be a crucial session for the hosts.
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