CAPE TOWN South Africa’s Quinton de Kock made a fine century and the hosts removed Kusal Mendis just before tea to leave Sri Lanka in trouble on 56 for two in reply to the hosts’ 392 on the second day of the second test at Newlands on Tuesday.
Mendis, promoted up the order after the first test, perished in the last over of the session for 11, undone by extra bounce from spinner Keshav Maharaj and top-edging a catch to JP Duminy.
South Africa’s trio of seam bowlers toiled hard in blustery conditions after lunch and took 16 overs to get their first wicket when Kaushal Silva, on 11, played a steep delivery from Kagiso Rabada on to his stumps.
But there was no reward for Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott, who had kept Sri Lanka’s batsmen quiet in a fiery opening spell.
Dimuth Karunaratne was 24 not out at tea with Dhananjaya de Silva having just come to the wicket. Sri Lanka trailed by 336 runs.
South Africa were all out before lunch with De Kock scoring 101 and teenager Lahiru Kumara claiming six wickets for Sri Lanka in a career-best performance.
De Kock, 68 not out overnight, drove the first ball of the day for four and brought up his century off 122 balls, an instinctive innings full of quality shots.
Kumara, brought in to strengthen the Sri Lanka attack after their defeat in the first test, claimed a first five-wicket haul in tests and finished with figures of 6-122.
But it was a long spell in the field for Sri Lanka with South Africa’s tail-enders adding 95 runs after resuming on 297 for six.
The third test starts at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Jan. 12.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)