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Cricket news - South Africa surge ahead with five wickets in opening session

Vernon Philander bagged a couple of key scalps

Quick wickets in the opening hour of the second day hurt Sri Lanka as South Africa got a firm grip on the game in the first Test in Durban on Thursday (February 14). Sri Lanka lost five wickets in the session, after starting at 49 for 1, to end the session on 133 for 6 - still trailing by 102 runs.

Having ended Day 1 on a strong note, Sri Lanka had started the day with their noses ahead. The onus was on the top order to ensure the pressure stayed on South Africa. The slide, however, started very early. Oshada Fernando was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Dale Steyn but replays suggested the ball was missing the leg stump.

Dimuth Karunaratne was the next to fall, in the very next over, as Vernon Philander trapped the Sri Lanka captain in front. Kusal Mendis struck two boundaries to ease the nerves after an early wobble but was undone by a good delivery from Philander. The pacer got on to pitch on off and hold its line as Mendis poked at it. The outside edge was gobbled by Faf du Plessis at second slip as the visitors slipped to 76 for 4.

Kusal Perera struck a few audacious blow to pick up crucial runs and keep the scoreboard moving but lost Niroshan Dickwella soon after. The left-hander went for a tentative pull and ended up finding Steyn at third man after top-edging the delivery. It was the 43-run stand between Perera and Dhanajaya de Silva that took the team past 100 and steadied things just a touch. Sri Lanka were guilty of playing some poor cricket and their position worsened even further as de Silva fell in the last over of the session - pulling a short one from Kagiso Rabada straight to deep fine leg.

Philander picked two in the session while Rabada, Steyn and Oliver got one each to ensure the hosts went into the break the happier side.

Brief scores: South Africa 235 (Quinton de Kock 80; Vishwa Fernando 4-62) lead Sri Lanka 133/6 (Kusal Perera 37*; Dale Steyn 2-24) by 102 runs.

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