Du Plessis, De Kock Dominate As A Lead-up To 271 > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Du Plessis, de Kock dominate as lead soars to 271

Quinton de Kock slammed a quickfire half-century before becoming the only batsman to be dismissed in the morning session

Faf du Plessis (72 not out) and Quinton de Kock (55) helped South Africa build a lead of 271 as they ended the opening session on the third day on 227 for 5. De Kock's wicket was the only one the visitors managed in the session as South Africa scored 101 in the 26 overs bowled.

At the start of the day, with the lead already 170, Sri Lanka needed early wickets to curb the run flow. Instead, de Kock came out and struck a few crisp drives to get going and put the pressure back of the visitors. While du Plessis took time to open up, it was the left-hander's attacking strokeplay that helped South Africa surge ahead. Make no mistake, de Kock wasn't rash - the strokes were pure cricketing shots played with such pristine timing that can easily send the opposition's confidence crashing down.

Sri Lanka struggled for close to 90 minutes for the first breakthrough. Even with the track deteriorating rapidly, they turned to Dhananjaya de Silva first before bringing on their frontline spinner. Lasith Embuldeniya struck in his second over of the day as he trapped de Kock in front soon after the lead went past 230. The left-hander did challenge the decision but replays showed the ball was crashing into the stumps. The 96-run stand, however, had ensured Sri Lanka were firmly pinned on the mat.

Du Plessis reached his half-century soon after - off 108 deliveries - and ensured the lead soared past 250. With the track offering variable bounce, the pressure will now be once again on the fragile Sri Lankan batting line-up to produce the goods. If their form in the last four Tests is anything to go by, things aren't looking too promising for the visitors.

Brief scores: South Africa 235 & 227/5 (Faf du Plessis 72*; Lasith Embuldeniya 3-51) lead Sri Lanka 191 (Kusal Perera 51; Dale Steyn 4-48) by 271 runs.

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