Sri Lanka spinners strike early double blow

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s spinners took two early wickets to reduce South Africa to 23 for two in reply to the hosts` 421 at tea on the second day of the second test on Friday. Left-armer Rangana Herath, who opened the bowling, struck with his fifth ball when he forced Alviro Petersen to hit back a tame return catch with his score on two.

Dilruwan Perera, who replaced fast bowler Suranga Lakmal after only four overs, had Dean Elgar, on one, caught off the inside edge off his third ball by Kaushal Silva at short leg to leave South Africa in trouble on a turning pitch at 13 for two.

Faf du Plessis (17) and Hashim Amla (two) survived some anxious moments to take the touring side to tea without further loss.

Sri Lanka’s first innings ended an hour after lunch with Vernon Philander picking up the last two wickets of Ajantha Mendis (2) and Lakmal (4) to catches by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.*

Debutant Niroshan Dickwella’s innings of 72 off 116 deliveries ended in a run out when he hesitated over a single to a ball that went off Herath`s shoulder and De Kock reacted quickly to throw the wicket down.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir picked up his first wicket after conceding over 100 runs when he had Perera caught by Amla at mid on for 12 attempting a big hit.

Mahela Jayawardene was run out for 165 and Dickwella scored a half-century on debut as Sri Lanka piled on the runs on the second morning.

The hosts were 395 for six at lunch with wicketkeeper Dickwella unbeaten on 63 and Perera on nine. South Africa`s only success of the morning was the wicket of Jayawardene, who had passed 150 for the 16th time in his career before he was run out.

The elegant right-hander swept JP Duminy to fine leg and Petersen`s direct throw at the stumps caught the diving batsman well short of his ground.

His 165 came off 284 balls and included one six and 17 fours.

South Africa lead the two-match series 1-0.

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