At 297-6, the Proteas have licence to push ahead aggressively against Sri Lanka on day two of the second Test at Newlands.
Kyle Abbott has done his job as nightwatchman and may fancy his chances playing some more of those classic drives which brought him reward on Monday evening. Behind him come Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj, who can also play aggressively. It is highly unlikely they will play defensively, even in support of Quinton de Kock who is on 68 and looking in good form for another hundred.
The visitors’ main hope will lie in targeting the lower-order batsmen and starving De Kock of support.
But Sri Lanka may also be without opening bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who left the field mid-over, without explanation, on Monday evening. If South Africa get through the first hour without too much damage and wear out a ball that is just 10 overs old, they could have an entertaining run-in to lunch and present Sri Lanka with a formidable first-innings target.
The Proteas quicks will be eager to see what they can get out of the helpful Newlands strip.
The Sri Lankans had their moments on day one, cutting short some promising partnerships at crucial times, until De Kock joined the gritty centurion Dean Elgar and swung the match to South Africa with his 68 off 90 balls. The visitors were never able to press home their advantage, and now they will have to show their mettle in the middle to match the resilience of the Proteas.
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA/BackpagePix