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Proteas falter against spin as Sri Lanka take charge

Skipper and birthday boy, Faf du Plessis, provided the only real form of resistance to the Sri Lankan onslaught, scoring 49 off 88 balls.

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis leads his team off the field during the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle on 13 July 2018. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - It was a day to forget for the Proteas as the visitors recorded their lowest ever total in Sri Lanka having been dismissed for 126 on the morning of day two of the first Test in Galle.

South Africa started the day on 4/1 after Aiden Markram was dismissed late on day one. Things got off to the worst possible start as night watchman Keshav Maharaj and opener Dean Elgar were dismissed within the first 5 overs.

After the morning session, the visitors had slumped to 51/6 as no batsman in the top five went past 20.

Skipper and birthday boy, Faf du Plessis, provided the only real form of resistance to the Sri Lankan onslaught, scoring 49 off 88 balls.

Du Plessis eventually found a partner that was willing to stick around as he and Vernon Philander put on 64 for the seventh wicket.

That partnership was broken when Philander was trapped in front by Dilruwan Perera for 18, with the score on 115.

The tail provided no resistance and added just 11 runs as Perera starred with the ball, taking 4/46.

The dominance of spin was underlined by the fact that seven of the ten wickets fell to spin.

The hosts had their tails up and opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne built on his unbeaten 158 in the first innings with an invaluable 60 from 80 balls in the second innings.

He was eventually sent back to the hut by Kagiso Rabada before Maharaj picked up three quick wickets as the hosts ended the day on 111/4, leading by 272 runs.

Saturday’s morning session will be a key one as the Proteas will look to take the last six wickets as quickly as possible.

The Proteas' highest fourth innings total in Sri Lanka is 251/7 to secure a dramatic draw in the first ever Test between the two countries 25 years ago.

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