Vernon Philander struck an early blow as South Africa began its push for victory on Day 3 of the second test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. (SCORECARD)
After South Africa declared its second innings on 224-7 to set Sri Lanka a mammoth 507 to win, Philander uprooted Dimuth Karunaratne’s leg-stump to leave the visitors on 17-1 at tea.
South Africa’s dominance in the game was set up on Day 2 when Quinton de Kock scored his third test century and Philander and Kagiso Rabada shared eight wickets to bowl Sri Lanka out for 110.
South Africa began the third day on 35-0, and openers Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook (30) extended their opening stand to 65 before Cook was caught at slip off the bowling of Suranga Lakmal.
The Sri Lankan paceman struck later in the same over to dismiss Hashim Amla for a duck, extending Amla’s run without a half-century to 10 innings.
Elgar, whose 129 set up South Africa’s first-innings total of 392, was next to go when he fell to Rangana Herath for 55, while JP Duminy (30) was trapped lbw by Lakmal on the stroke of lunch.
After the break, Temba Bavuma was run out without scoring but Faf du Plessis scored a brisk 41 and Quinton de Kock added 29 from just 24 deliveries.
Du Plessis became Lakmal’s fourth victim when he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal, while De Kock fell in the same fashion to Lahiru Kumara.
Keshav Maharaj and Philander then put on an unbroken 32 for the eighth wicket to push the lead past 500, at which point Du Plessis declared with 47 overs remaining in the day, leaving Lakmal with figures of 4-62.