Cricket

Du Plessis wicket helps Sri Lanka boss opening session


SRI LANKA IN SOUTH AFRICA 2019

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Sri Lanka, at one stage, reduced South Africa to 17 for 3. © AFP

Sri Lanka made an impressive start on the opening session of the first Test as they reduced South Africa to 89 for 4 at Lunch in Durban on Wednesday (February 13). Having opted to field, Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando made full use of the conditions on offer to reduce the hosts to 17 for 3 before Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma steadied the ship.

The visitors were exceptional in the first 35 minutes of play that saw three wickets falling. Fernando struck in his very first over, the second of the innings, to have Dean Elgar caught behind with one that came back in with the left-armers angle and took the outside edge. There was more drama in that over as an appeal for caught behind against Hashim Amla was turned down. On the last ball of the second over, Amla was pinged plumb in front but Sri Lanka had their appeal turned down once again.

While the visitors did ask for a review, their request was denied as the on field umpires – Aleem Dar and Richard Kettlebrough – felt they had taken more than 15 seconds to make up their mind. Replays showed that the ball pitched in line and was crashing into the stumps. Not only 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 fell for 3 in the seventh over. Lakmal got the ball to move away and caught the right-hander in two minds. Amla was a touch too late to withdraw the bat and the ball took the edge and landed with Kusal Mendis at second slip. 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 89/4 (Vishwa Fernando 2-31) vs Sri Lanka.

© Cricbuzz

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