De Kock resists as Sri Lanka dominate



Quinton de Kock was unbeaten on 44 at the Tea interval. © AFP

Sri Lanka continued their good run, and were backed up by good fortune, as South Africa slipped to 181 for 7 at Tea on the opening day of the first Test in Durban on Wednesday (February 13). The hosts lost two more wickets in the second session but Quinton de Kock’s 44 off 65 kept Sri Lanka on their toes.

As was the case in the first session, Sri Lanka got a breakthrough early at the start of the second. Temba Bavuma (47) was run out in the fifth over after the restart. De Kock smashed a full delivery back to the bowler but the ball struck Vishwa Fernando’s foot and crashed into the stumps at the bowler’s stump. Bavuma’s bat was on the line as South Africa lost their fifth wicket.

Vernon Philander was caught in a tangle trying to pull a short ball and gave a simple catch back to Kasun Rajitha as South Africa slipped to 131 for 6. De Kock, however, continued to play positive strokes and found an able partner in Keshav Maharaj as the duo scored 47 for the seventh wicket. Maharaj was caught behind with Fernando getting one to leave the batsman from around the wicket. Maharaj went for the review but replays showed there was a faint edge.

Earlier, Sri Lanka bossed the first session with four wickets despite a 72-run stand between Faf du Plessis and Bavuma. The visitors made an exceptional start after opting to field to reduce the hosts to 17 for 3. Dean Elgar was dismissed for a duck in the second over while Hashim Amla was given a reprieve when an lbw appeal was turned down against him.

There was more drama as Sri Lanka were denied a review for extending the 15-second limit for claiming one. Replays showed that the ball pitched in line and was crashing into the stumps and that Sri Lanka had in fact asked for a review when only 13 seconds had passed.

Amla, however, wasn’t able to use the reprieve and was caught behind for 3 in the seventh over. Aiden Markram was bowled by an incoming delivery by Fernando as South Africa found themselves reeling with not much on the board. Sri Lanka, though, failed to sustain the pressure in the second hour of the session. Both Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma were offered plenty of poor deliveries and they picked up the much-needed runs to take the team past 50 in the 17th over. The duo scored 72 for the fourth wicket but the South Africa captain fell in the last over before lunch – caught behind down the leg side off the bowling of Kasun Rajitha.

Brief scores: South Africa 181/7 (Quinton de Kock 44*; Vishwa Fernando 3-49) vs Sri Lanka.

© Cricbuzz


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