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Cricket news - Sri Lanka draw first blood in Port Elizabeth

Vishwa Fernando dismissed Elgar and Amla early in the innings.

Swung it in Durban, now swinging it in Port Elizabeth. Vishwa Fernando's two-wicket burst early on set South Africa back in the morning session of the second Test on the opening day. The hosts' recovery was led by skipper Faf du Plessis and Aiden Markram, who added 58 to steady the innings. However, du Plessis departed on the ball before lunch as Sri Lanka capped off a brilliant session to send the hosts to lunch on 73 for 4 on Thursday (February 21).

Two wickets in two balls, followed by the run-out of Temba Bavuma in the next over, and South Africa were reeling at 15 for 3 after opting to bat. Fernando set Dean Elgar up beautifully by persisting with the line outside off for most parts, before sending in one that jagged back in sharply. The ball crept in to the gap - that was created as he went in for the drive - between bat and pad and crashed into the offstump, as his lean run continued.

Amla had one swing back late, which took the inside edge off his bat to crash into the stumps as he departed for a first-ball duck. Fernando missed out on the hat-trick as the ball just went over the stumps, swinging back into Bavuma. But Sri Lanka got their man four balls later as he set off for a run with no call from striker, Markram. He was caught well short at the non-striker's end after a direct hit from Kasun Rajitha.

Du Plessis and Markram thereafter, added 58-plus runs patiently to revive the innings. Sri Lanka kept things tight, but couldn't create anymore chances in the session, until the last over, when the Sri Lankan skipper brought himself on for one over. Dimuth Karunaratne sent one in on yorker length that slid under du Plessis's bat. It had enough pace to knock over the stumps much to the delight of the Sri Lankan skipper, and dismay of his counterpart. Markram, however, remained unbeaten on 37 as the break was taken.

Brief scores: South Africa 73/4 (Aiden Markram 37*; Vishwa Fernando 2-18) vs Sri Lanka.

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