Cricket 14.7.2018 08:51 am

Proteas bowlers do the job but there’s a mountain to climb

South Africa's Dale Steyn (R) is congratulated by his teammate Vernon Philander after dismissing Sri Lanka's Lakshan Sandakan during the third day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

South Africa's Dale Steyn (R) is congratulated by his teammate Vernon Philander after dismissing Sri Lanka's Lakshan Sandakan during the third day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

They require 352 to win on a Galle track that’s barely holding together.

A disciplined Proteas attack blasted out the last six Sri Lanka wickets for 79 runs Saturday on the third morning of the first Test, leaving them with 352 runs for victory on a crumbling Galle track.

Kagiso Rabada struck twice in one over after earlier running out Roshen Silva, before spinners Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Dale Steyn took one wicket apiece to finish the innings off.

Rabada once again showed his value with a potent spell of 3/44 on a track that actually doesn’t suit him while Maharaj finished with excellent figures of 4/58.

Angelo Mathews resisted for Sri Lanka early in the day, making 35, before stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal’s stroke-filled 33 not out pushed the home side’s lead beyond 350.

Those are two contributions that can come back to bite the South Africans.

Steyn’s wicket of No. 11 batsman Lakshan Sandakan saw him equal the South Africa record for most Test wickets, drawing him level with Shaun Pollock at 421 dismissals but he’ll have to wait for the Colombo Test to break it.

The Proteas finished on 5/0.

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