Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test Day 1: Karunaratne’s 158* gives Sri Lanka a slight edge

Dimuth Karunaratne 158 not out Sri Lanka South Africa 1st Test Day 1 Galle cricket

Dimuth Karunaratne celebrates after scoring his eighth Test century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne put on a show on the opening day in Galle as he struck an unbeaten 158 to not only frustrate South Africa, but give his side a slim advantage.

Choosing to bat first, Sri Lanka made a decent start to their innings as Karunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka amassed a 44-run partnership before Gunathilaka was caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for 26.

Dhananjaya de Silva only scored 11 runs before he was clean bowled by Tabraiz Shamsi.

Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis added 45 runs to the score before Mendis, who made 24, was caught by Rabada at mid-on off the bowling of Dale Steyn, who made his international comeback after suffering a heel injury in January.

Rabada returned to take out Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva in the space of three balls before Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella forged a 42-run partnership.

Dickwella ended up making 18 before he fell to Shamsi. Once this occurred, the rain came and play was suspended for a short while.

Once play resumed, Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath were dismissed in quick succession.

However, Karunaratne and stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal halted the Proteas’ charge as they put together a 48-run stand before Lakmal was caught behind off the bowling of Rabada for 10.

Karunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan kept the runs flowing with a 63-run partnership before Sri Lanka were bowled out for 287 when Sandakan was stumped by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Shamsi for 25.

Karunaratne was left stranded on 158, which came off 222 balls and included 13 boundaries and six.

Rabada was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Shamsi took three, and Steyn and Vernon Philander claimed one wicket apiece.

Trailing by 287 runs, South Africa made a horrible start to their innings as opener Aiden Markram was sent packing by Herath in the third over.

Dean Elgar and Keshav Maharaj, who was sent in as the nightwatchman, ensured South Africa didn’t lose anymore wickets as they amassed a three-run partnership before stumps was called.

Elgar finished on four, while Maharaj has yet to get off the mark.

Herath was the only bowler to take a wicket.

South Africa ended day one on 4/1 and will continue batting on Friday at 10:00 local time or 04:30 GMT.

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