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Rabada stars as Proteas restrict Sri Lanka

Kagiso Rabada led the bowling attack and moved smoothly back into Test match mode after an extended break to recover from his back strain.

The Proteas celebrate a win on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka on 12 July 2018. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Proteas will be the happier of the two teams after day one of the first test against Sri Lanka, having dismissed the hosts for 287.

Faf du Plessis lost the toss and was asked to bowl first by Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal.

Kagiso Rabada led the bowling attack and moved smoothly back into Test match mode after an extended break to recover from his back strain.

The South African Cricketer of the Year was the stand out performer for the visitors, taking 4/50 in 14 overs.

There was also a milestone performance from wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who claimed career-best figures of 3/91 in 25.4 overs

In addition to taking wickets, Shamsi held an end throughout the day, bowling a 20 over spell that allowed Du Plessis to rotate bowlers from the other end.

Along with Dale Steyn, who is now just two wickets away from becoming South Africa’s leading wicket-taker, Rabada and Shamsi put South Africa in a strong position and had the home side struggling on 176/8 shortly after the tea.

However, opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne rallied tail-end support to see the last two wickets add 111 to the total and give Sri Lanka a much more competitive 287 all out.

In the process, Karunaratne became the fourth Sri Lankan to carry his bat in magnificent innings of 158 not out from 222 balls. It was his eighth Test century and the fourth time he has made more than 150.

It wasn’t quite perfect for the Proteas though, as opener Aiden Markram was dismissed for a duck by Rangana Herath towards the end of the day to ensure the visitors resume on 4/1.

The five-man bowling attack has given the Proteas a good position that the specialist batsmen will need to take advantage of on day two.

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