Sri Lanka 180 (Philander 5-53)
South Africa 90-1 (Smith 61)
First Test, Centurion
South Africa dominated the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in Centurion as Vernon Philander once again emerged as the hero for the home side.
The tourists started badly after being put into bat by Graeme Smith and were soon rocking at 12 for two as Tillakaratne Dilshan (6) played a loose shot at Dale Steyn, and Philander got a ball to bounce awkwardly from a length to account for the in-form Kumar Sangakkara (1).
Tharanga Paranavitana (32), Mahela Jayawardene (30), Thilan Samaraweera (36) and Angelo Mathews then steadied the ship to take Sri Lanka to 156 for four at the midway point in the day, as all four reached 30 but could not go on before being snared either by the dangerous Philander (five for 53) or the ever-hostile Steyn (four for 18). Mathews was the most fluent of the four, and top-scored with 38 from 52 balls, many of them off the bowling of the out-of-sorts Morne Morkel.
Unfortunately for the tourists, the end came soon afterwards as their last six wickets fell with a whimper for just 24 runs and they were dismissed for just 180, as Philander became only the third bowler to take five-wicket hauls in his first three Test matches when he removed Mathews, and Steyn upset Chanaka Welegedara and Dilhara Fernando’s stumps with consecutive deliveries to ensure that South Africa went into the last session with both the psychological as well as the theoretical advantage.
This advantage was something that the home side then built on before stumps, as Graeme Smith hit a typically determined 61 prior to being trapped in front by Dilhara Fernando just before to the close.
All of this leaves Sri Lanka needing early wickets tomorrow morning or face the prospect of relying on their fragile batting line-up if they are to avoid anything but a hefty defeat against one of the best sides in the world.
© Cricket World 2011