Lunch South Africa 5 for 0 (Elgar 3*, Markram 2*) & 126 need another 347 runs to beat Sri Lanka 190 (Karunaratne 60, Maharaj 4-58, Rabada 3-44) & 287
South Africa’s attack staged an impressive comeback on the third morning in Galle to nip out Sri Lanka’s last six wickets for 73 runs but their first-innings deficit has given them a tough task in the final innings. Sri Lanka pushed their lead to 351, asking South Africa to score the highest total of the match and complete the joint third-highest successful chase on the island against an attack the visitors are clearly uncomfortable against.
Still, South Africa will take confidence from the way their bowlers ran through Sri Lanka, and especially with Keshav Maharaj’s performance. After going wicketless in the first innings, Maharaj took 4 for 58 in the second innings to underline his position as the first-choice spinner in the XI.
Dale Steyn equalled Shaun Pollock’s record as South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker, with 421 scalps to his name, but he will have to wait until next week to overtake Pollock. Steyn took the last wicket, of Lakshan Sandakan, who poked at a short ball to give Temba Bavuma a simple catch at point. Perhaps more crucially for Steyn, it was the first time since August 2016 that he got through a full Test without any fitness concerns. He delivered 24.4 overs in total, conceded 89 runs and took two wickets.
Full report to follow…