Eastern Cape: Kagiso Rabada made two crucial breakthroughs as South Africa chipped away at a stubborn Sri Lankan batting order on the fourth day of the first Test at St George`s Park on Thursday.
Sri Lanka were 240 for five at the close of play, with their last two recognised batsmen at the crease, after being set to make an improbable 488 to win.
South Africa will go into the final day, armed with a second new ball which is only three overs old, needing to break a stand between Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva in order to get among the Sri Lankan tailenders.
Day 3 Recap:
Stephen Cook hit a century as South Africa took control of the first Test against Sri Lanka at St George's Park.
The Proteas were 351 for five at the close of Day 3, and took an overall lead of 432 on a ground where no team has successfully chased more than 271 in the fourth innings.
Cook made 117 to lead a powerful batting performance by the hosts.
After two interruptions for rain, the playing hours were changed and South Africa scored 182 runs off 40 overs in an extended post-lunch period. They added another 131 off 29 overs before the close.
With Sri Lanka setting defensive fields, the South African batsmen were able to score plenty of singles and keep the score moving. They lost two more wickets, both to off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva, before captain Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock added an unbeaten 74 off 92 balls before the close.
Sri Lanka were bowled out early in the day for 205, with Vernon Philander finishing with five for 45, losing their remaining three wickets for 24 runs.