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Maharaj, Rabada take South Africa close to victory

Keshav Maharaj picked two wickets for South Africa on day four
Keshav Maharaj picked two wickets for South Africa on day four

South Africa 286 & 406-6 dec (Cook 117) v
Sri Lanka 205 & 240-5 (Mendis 58)
First Test, Port Elizabeth, day four

Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj picked two wickets apiece as South Africa restricted Sri Lanka to 240 for five in a chase of 488 on day four of the first Test in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa started the day at 351 for five with a lead of 432 over Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock (69) completed his fifty in the 86th over and an over later, Faf du Plessis (67 not out) also brought his own half-century.

The 90th over bowled by Rangana Herath (1-84) saw de Kock survive a review from Sri Lanka but three deliveries later he was trapped by the same bowler and South Africa declared their innings at 406 for six leaving a target of 488 for Sri Lanka in the final innings.

Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne (43) and Kaushal Silva (48) got them off to a cautious start of 16 for naught in the first 10 overs.

Silva had a reprieve when he was dropped by de Kock in the 12th over bowled by Rabada (2-72). Sri Lanka went into lunch at 27 for naught.

South Africa looked clumsy on the field when Dean Elgar dropped Silva again. This time off the bowling of Maharaj (2-84) and two deliveries later the pair brought their 50-run opening stand.

The 87-run stand ended finally when Karunaratne was run out and two overs later, Maharaj had Kusal Perera (6) caught behind. Silva and Kusal Mendis (58) saw the remaining overs through and took Sri Lanka to tea at 118 for two.

The start of the final session saw Sri Lanka lose Silva but Mendis and Angelo Mathews (58) revived their hope with a 75-run stand. Mendis completed his fifty off 75 deliveries while Mathews needed 93 balls for the same.

Just at the stroke of stumps, Sri Lanka lost both Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal (8) and ended the day at 240 for five. They still needed 248 more runs to win with five wickets in hand in the final day.

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