Herath Keeps Pressure On South Africa

Herath keeps pressure on South Africa

CAPE TOWN, Jan 2, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 02nd Jan, 2017 ) - Rangana Herath dismissed South African captain Faf du Plessis shortly before tea as Sri Lanka kept South Africa under pressure on the first day of the second Test at Newlands on Monday.

South Africa were 147 for four at tea after being sent in to bat. Du Plessis edged a drive against left-arm spinner Herath to slip and was caught by Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews for 38, seven runs after being dropped at mid-off by Upul Tharanga off the same bowler.

Opening batsman Dean Elgar was unbeaten on 76. Elgar and Du Plessis steadied the South African innings after a double strike by teenage fast bowler Lahiru Kumara, putting on 76 for the fourth wicket.

Mathews' decision to send South Africa in on a well-grassed pitch paid an early dividend when Stephen Cook was caught behind off Suranga Lakmal in the first over without a run on the board. Elgar and Hashim Amla seemed to have weathered the storm as they took the total to 66 shortly before lunch.

But the game changed dramatically in the third over sent down by Kumara, 19, playing in only his third Test and sixth first-class match.

Building up good pace, the strongly-built Kumara bowled Amla between bat and pad for 29 and followed up five balls later when JP Duminy gloved a catch down the legside to be caught by a diving Kusal Mendis.

Mendis was keeping wicket in place of Dinesh Chandimal, although Chandimal remained in the team as a batsman. The left-handed Elgar played a chanceless innings with scarcely a loose shot. He reached 50 off 87 balls with eight fours and had faced 146 deliveries, adding another three boundaries, by tea.

Mathews said at the toss that his decision to send South Africa in was based on the conditions -- an overcast sky and a pitch which had considerably more grass than was the case when South Africa and England played out a high-scoring draw last year.

"There's a lot of grass on the wicket and it seems pretty hard," said Mathews. "We've got three seamers and myself, so we'll try and take advantage of the conditions." Herath did not enter the attack until the 42nd over but despite not getting any assistance from the pitch took one for nine in seven overs.