De Kock Holds The Sri Lanka On The Bay > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - De Kock keeps Sri Lanka at bay

De Kock remained unbeaten on 68 at stumps.

After a brief fightback from South Africa, led by half-centuries from Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, Sri Lanka snatched back control in the second session of the opening day of the second Test with three wickets, as the hosts went to Tea on 185 for 7, with runs coming at over four an over.

De Kock, attacking from the onset, kept South Africa in the game, unbeaten on 68, that came off just 71 balls in Port Elizabeth on Thursday (February 21). He was dropped on 37 by Kusal Mendis in the slips, but was unperturbed, picking the quick singles, rotating the strike and bisecting the field to pick up as many as ten boundaries. He added 28 runs with Kagiso Rabada for the eighth wicket, in an unbeaten stand after the latter was dropped twice by Sri Lanka, unbeaten on 8 at the break.

Kasun Rajitha dented South Africa's hopes of a successful revival after the pair of Markram and de Kock negated the Lankan bowlers on resumption of play after lunch. For the first hour, the South African pair rotated the strike, got the boundaries, and before Sri Lanka could realise, had brought up a fifty-run stand in quicktime off just 54 balls.

Markram, who had looked at extreme ease in the middle, reached his half-century, but was trapped leg before soon after (for 60) by Rajitha, that put an end to a rapid 57-run association. The ball came into the batsman from the second-slip line and struck him on the back pad. Markram reviewed, with height being the only questionable element, but the umpire's call was withheld.

Debutant Wiaan Mulder got off the mark with a gorgeous boundary, and struck another before Rajitha sent him back after he was struck plumb in front. He followed that up with Keshav Maharaj edging to the keeper as South Africa lost three wickets in a heap, undoing all the good of the first half-hour of the session where they had scored at over five runs an over. Rajitha got the ball to seam a bit in the latter half of the session, while Suranga Lakmal kept things tight too, by changing his angles often. He, however, remained wicketless, coming very close to getting de Kock, but in vain as the catch was put down.

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 after they were reduced to 15 for 3. The hosts' recovery was led by skipper Faf du Plessis and Markram, who added 58 to steady the innings. However, du Plessis departed on the last ball before the session breakk as Sri Lanka capped off a brilliant session to send the hosts to lunch on 73 for 4.

Two wickets in two balls, followed by the run-out of Temba Bavuma in the next over, had them reeling 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 to rattle the stumps, as his lean run continued.

Amla had one swing back late, which took the inside edge off his bat to crash into the stumps, departing 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 Rajitha.

Du Plessis and Markram thereafter, added 58 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 to knock over the stumps much to the delight of the Sri Lankan skipper, and dismay of his counterpart.

Brief scores: South Africa 185/7 (Aiden Markram 60, Quinton de Kock 68*; Vishwa Fernando 2-45, Kasun Rajitha 3-54) vs Sri Lanka

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