DURBAN: Fast bowler Dale Steyn took four wickets as South Africa claimed a handy 44-run first innings lead after dismissing Sri Lanka for 191 on the stroke of tea on day two of the first test at Kingsmead on Thursday.
The home side will start their second innings after the interval as they look to set a target that will be beyond Sri Lanka’s brittle batting line-up on a wicket that is providing plenty of assistance for the seam bowlers.
Kusal Perera (51) was the only one of the Sri Lankan batsmen to reach a half-century before he became Steyn’s fourth victim, caught by substitute fielder Zubayr Hamza at deep extra cover.
The tourists resumed their innings on 49 for one on the second morning, but were soon in trouble as Dale Steyn (4-48) struck the opening blow when he trapped Oshada Fernando (19) leg before wicket.
The wily seam of Vernon Philander (2-32) then removed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne (30) with the same mode of dismissal.
The visitors had added only four to their overnight score by then, and were reeling when Philander induced an edge from Kusal Mendis (12) to Faf du Plessis at second slip.
Niroshan Dickwella (8) top-edged Duanne Olivier to Steyn at a fine third-man to be the fifth wicket to fall as Sri Lanka’s middle-order threatened to crumble.
Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva (23) added 43 for the sixth wicket with some attacking stroke-play, but their promising partnership ended on the stroke of lunch when the latter was caught by Olivier in the deep off Kagiso Rabada.
The procession of wickets continued after lunch, with debutant Lasith Embuldeniya (23) providing some resistance before he was the last man out, caught by Steyn at mid-off to give Rabada a second wicket.
South Africa were bowled out for 235 on day one as Quinton de Kock top-scored with a fine 80. Seamer Vishwa Fernando (4-62) was the picking of the tourists’ attack.