Sri Lanka will feel good about their first day performance against South Africa in the second Test in Colombo but the Proteas will certainly not feel their day in the field yielded no fruits on Thursday. Sri Lanka won the toss and opted bat first as well as making three changes. Niroshan Dickwella came in for Dinesh Chandimal, Kithuruwan Vithanage replaces Lahiru Thirimanne and Shaminda Eranga is out in favour of Ajantha Mendis.
South Africa went with an unchanged side and it was first Test man of the match Dale Steyn that was at it again early on. Steyn had Upul Tharanga caught behind by Quinton De Kock for 11 before dismissing Kumar Sangakkara first ball, caught by Imran Tahir. At 16/2 it wasn’t looking good.
However Mahela Jayawardene joined Kaushal Silva to put on a splendid 99 run third wicket stand. The pair set an impressive pace of around 4.5 runs per over. JP Duminy bore some of the brunt conceding 18 in his first two overs. As is so often the case the bowler had the last laugh though.
Silva was back in the hut before lunch when his cover drive found the outside edge straight to AB De Villiers at first slip for 44. Jayawardene then combined with captain Angel Mathews for another big partnership for the Lankan Lions. The duo added 131 runs for the fourth wicket.
Mathews was eventually dismissed for a fine 63 in which he hit six fours. The Sri Lankan captain was caught behind by De Kock off Duminy. Meanwhile Jayawardene was making merry in what will be his final Test against the Proteas.
The former skipper hit 16 fours and a six as he went to stumps on 140 not out and although Vithanage was out caught De Villiers, bowled Morkel for 13, the islanders closed play on 305 for five and will be satisfied with a good first day at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Dickwella was 12 not out.