Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 1: Maharaj leads South Africa’s fightback with eight-wicket haul

Keshav Maharaj eight wickets Sri Lanka South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 Colombo cricket

Keshav Maharaj ended the day with figures of 8-116 off 32 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj stole the spotlight on the first day of the second Test in Colombo as he took a superb eight-wicket haul to help his side claw their way back into contention after Sri Lanka got off to a strong start.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka made a fantastic start to their innings as openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka amassed a 116-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.

Dimuth Karunaratne 53 Sri Lanka South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 Colombo cricket

Dimuth Karunaratne struck his 16th half-century in Test cricket

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With Sri Lanka in cruise control, South Africa were in desperate need of a wicket, and it was Maharaj who provided the breakthrough as he had Karunaratne caught behind for 53, which came off 110 balls and included four boundaries.

Gunathilaka went on to make 57 off 107 deliveries, which included six boundaries, before he was brilliantly caught by Kagiso Rabada off the bowling of Maharaj.

Danushka Gunathilaka 57 Sri Lanka South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 Colombo cricket

Danushka Gunathilaka scored his maiden Test fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Maharaj proceeded to take out Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews before Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshen Silva halted South Africa’s charge with a 54-run stand.

Rabada ended the partnership as he clean bowled Silva for 22.

Maharaj took over from that point as he continued to wreak on Sri Lanka’s batting line-up.

With batsmen falling in quick succession, Sri Lanka failed to cling on to their dominant position and allowed the Proteas to come storming back into contention.

Sri Lanka were on the verge of being bowled out towards the end of the day, but Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath managed to forge an unbeaten 13-run partnership before stumps was called.

Dananjaya finished on 16 off 32 balls, which included three boundaries, while Herath remained undefeated on five.

Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers with eight wickets, while Rabada claimed one.

Sri Lanka ended day on eon 277/9 and will continue batting on Saturday at 10:00 local time or 04:30 GMT.

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