Heinz Schenk
4 minute read
26 Dec 2016
4:10 pm

LIVE REPORT: It’s all square after first day in PE

Heinz Schenk

The Proteas were never allowed to take control on a day where Sri Lanka were persistent and gritty. Re-live all the action here.

Suranga Lakmal achieved career-best figures in PE. Photo: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP.

Click here for a live scorecard.

17.30: The drama is over for now as the Proteas end the day on 267/6. Sri Lanka have fought really hard and contributed to a compelling day of cricket. They’ll hope to dislodge Quinton de Kock, who’s unbeaten on 25, quickly on Tuesday morning.

17.04: GONE! You can’t keep Suranga Lakmal out of the game! Another beautiful away-swinger accounts for Faf du Plessis, who edges to slip. That’s a fourth for Sri Lanka’s mercurial seamer. SA 253/6.

17.03: After surviving a sticky moment against the persistent Lakmal, Quinton de Kock strokes a boundary to take the Proteas past 250.

17.00: A semblance of control is back for the Proteas. Faf du Plessis is looking strong on 37 and Quinton de Kock has been mature in his approach. SA 248/5.

16.27: GONE! The Islanders are very much in this game now! Temba Bavuma goes back to a Rangana Herath delivery. It’s given not out but keeper Dinesh Chandimal has a hunch and asks Angelo Mathews to review. He goes for it and it pays off. SA 225/5.

16.03: JP Duminy misses a sweep against an accurate Rangana Herath delivery. He decides to review the decision but it’s a poor one. A promising 63 comes to an end. SA 213/4.

15.54: Faf du Plessis brings up the Proteas’ 200 with an upper cut for four. He edged the previously delivery past the vacant third slip. It’s been that kind of day for Sri Lanka. SA 203/3.

15.37: An eighth Test fifty for JP Duminy. He’s been responsible since the tea break after being attacking previously. Well deserved. SA 188/3.

15.16: WICKET! Oh dear, Hash! The Proteas’ bearded kingpin is really struggling outside off-stump at the moment. Suranga Lakmal keeps it tight and Amla’s feet are stuck in the crease He edged a lot of deliveries behind in Oz and it’s continuing at home now. SA 178/3.

14.42: Tea time at St George’s Park. Suranga Lakmal’s excellent spell certainly helped the Sri Lankans’ cause but they still aren’t quite in this game (yet). JP Duminy’s attacking strokeplay has nullified any advantage the Islanders might’ve had. Hashim Amla has been painful to watch. At least he’s still there. SA 174/2.

14.19: A first boundary for Hashim Amla! It’s taken him 55 balls to do it and illustrates how he’s trying to play himself back into form. It also brings up the 50 partnership between him and a fluent JP Duminy. SA 158/2.

14.06: JP Duminy has raced to 34, of which an impressive 32 have been boundaries. His driving in particular has been been exemplary. In contrast, Hashim Amla has struggled.

13.26: WICKET! Suranga Lakmal has been superb after lunch. He bowls one just wider of off-stump. Instead of leaving (like Hashim Amla), Dean Elgar tries to drive but the late swing undermines him. Excellent catch by Dinesh Chandimal behind the stumps. SA 105/2.

13.08: GONE! Well, that was unexpected! The steady Suranga Lakmal produces an excellent delivery that keeps its line. Cook tries to play to leg but he ends up edging it. The Lions veteran is out for 59. SA 104/1.

12.54: Nothing has changed since lunch. Cook and Elgar are solid, the Islanders can’t find a consistent line. The Proteas reach 100.

12.02: And that’s lunch! South Africa have reached a comfortable 92/0 after the first session. Cook is unbeaten 52 and Dean Elgar has been equally solid with his 39. Sri Lanka will be disappointed that their seamers didn’t try to exploit the early life in the pitch a bit more.

11.59: Typical resilience from a solid cricketer! Stephen Cook reaches his 50 off 102 deliveries.

11.18: Cook brings up South Africa’s 50 with a crisp clip off the legs. The Sri Lankans have been guilty of bowling both sides of the wicket.

11.13: CLOSE! Dean Elgar plays a loose drive against Lakmal but the ball hardly carries to the slip cordon and falls short.

11.01: The first hour (and 15 overs, that’s good going by Sri Lanka) is over. South Africa look comfortable on 40/0.

10.40: The Proteas have toughed it out in the first 10 overs. They stand on 25/0.

10.15: Stephen Cook, fresh off a gritty hundred against the Aussies in Adelaide, breaks the shackles with two boundaries off Nuwan Pradeep’s second over.

10.08: It’s been a decent start by the Sri Lankan seamers. The opening pair of Cook and Elgar have been circumspect.

10.00: The only change to the South African team sees left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj come back into the XI for wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

Big guns Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal come back into the Sri Lankan team.

South Africa’s batsmen will look to prosper in good batting conditions on a warm, sunny day in Port Elizabeth.

9.35: Here are the teams:

Proteas: Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada.

Sri Lanka: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de SIlva, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera.

9.30: Faf du Plessis, in his first game as full-time Test captain, wins the toss and decides to bat first. There was some doubt as to what he should do but perhaps he’s wary of batting last against Sri Lankan veteran spinner Rangana Herath.

“We’d rather have a first bite on this pitch. Hopefully the surface speeds up later on,” said Du Plessis.

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