Galle, July 12: Opener Dimuth Karunaratne hit an unbeaten 158 to lift Sri Lanka to 287 all out against South Africa on day one of the first Test in Galle today.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada claimed four wickets to reduce Sri Lanka to 176-8 but Karunaratne gave the total respect with his 222-ball knock after the hosts elected to bat first.
The left-handed Karunaratne, who registered his eighth century in his 50th Test, built crucial partnerships including a 63-run 10th wicket stand with Lakshan Sandakan, who made 25.
In response South Africa were in trouble at four for one at stumps after veteran spinner Rangana Herath got Aiden Markram out for nought. Dean Elgar, on four, and nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj were at the crease at close of play on a tough day’s cricket that saw rain in the afternoon and an extended final session.
The day belonged to Karunaratne who stood tall during his marathon stand after Rabada and then left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi tore into the Sri Lankan middle-order. (AFP)