Sri Lanka began their preparations well as they scored four fifties on their way to 328-6 on day one against the SA Invitation XI.
It was a long day in the field for the South Africans as the Sri Lankan opening pair put on 159 for the first wicket, before the tourists posted 328-6 in Potchefstroom.
The Sri Lankan top order will be delighted to have a bit of form going through to the first Test against the Proteas in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day, as they aim for their first ever Test series victory on South African soil.
The bowling attack, boasting impressive Knights speedster Duanne Olivier and Lwandwisa Zuma, were made to toil as Dimuth Karunaratne (71) and Kaushal Silva (80) both retired out to give the rest a chance. That was when the bowlers started to tuck in, as Cobras spinner George Linde bagged the first wicket, seeing off Kusal Perera for 25. Skipper Angelo Mathews would be Linde’s next victim, edging one behind to Mangaliso Mosehle for a duck.
Promising Cobras all-rounder Jason Smith, who got a run around for the Proteas in the Legacy Cup against the Boks, found the next breakthrough to see off the dangerous Kusal Mendis for 51, but the hosts endured more frustration from there. Dinesh Chandimal (23) would be the next man to fall off Olivier’s bowling, but not before a 78-run stand between him and Dhananjaya de Silva, who will go into day two on 57 from just 67 balls.
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