Duminy, de Kock Fifties Take SA Past 400

South Africa progressed slowly towards a solid total in Galle with Sri Lanka making run-scoring as difficult as they could on a largely docile pitch with only three frontline bowlers. The hosts allowed just 63 runs in 30 overs in the morning for the wickets of Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn.

De Kock reached his maiden Test fifty before he fell to one of the few deliveries that spun and bounced in the session. Dilruwan Perera tossed up one outside the left-hander's leg stump, from where it kicked across to take the edge through to slip to give Mahela Jayawardene his 198th catch. Before that, de Kock had taken South Africa past 300 with a mix of uncertainty, fortune and positive strokes.

Suranga Lakmal, the lone fast bowler Sri Lanka could call upon after Shaminda Eranga's hand injury, found de Kock's outside edge twice in an opening spell of 6-3-17-1. Both times, the ball went between second slip and gully. Unruffled, De Kock was quick to pounce on the occasional wide ones from Perera and was helped by a couple of misfields as well.

De Kock's ability to play spin was a talking point coming into this game and he had his nervy moments against Perera, who found biting turn when he slowed it up. De Kock soldiered on with a few leading and inside edges till Perera produced the lifter just after drinks.

Lakmal had yorked Steyn well before that happened, tricking the nightwatchman with the full one after a couple of short balls. Still, Steyn managed to hang around for over half an hour in the morning, not allowing Sri Lanka to break through with a still-new ball.

Rangana Herath was brought on after drinks and immediately spun one past Vernon Philander's outside edge. Philander took 25 deliveries to get off the mark as he and JP Duminy struggled to score despite not facing too many alarms.

The average first-innings total in Galle is 376 and South Africa aren't too far from it, or from the 400-run mark, something centurion Dean Elgar had said they were targetting.

(ESPN)

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