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Sri Lanka rattle Proteas in opening Kingsmead session

Durban - The  Proteas  were stunned by Sri Lanka in the opening hour of the first Test in Durban on Wednesday, going into lunch at 89/4 .

Temba Bavuma (38*) and skipper Faf du Plessis (35)  had led the South African recovery with a stand of 72 for the fourth wicket, but Du Plessis falling on the stroke of lunch left the Sri Lankans comfortably ahead.

Winning the toss and bowling first, the Sri Lankan opening pair of Suranga Lakmal (1/6) and Vishwa Fernando (2/31) combined to reduce the hosts to  17/3  inside the first 8 overs of the Test match.

Under cloudy skies and on a wicket that offered significant assistance to the new-ball seamers, both opening bowlers were impressive as they hit their areas and asked some serious questions.

Dean Elgar (0) was first to go when he feathered a Fernando delivery that had just nipped away slightly through to Niroshan Dickwella behind the stumps.

There was then a moment of controversy when Hashim Amla, 0* at the time, survived a massive shout for LBW off Fernando.

The left-arm seamer seemed convinced as he went up for the appeal only for umpire Aleem Dar to rule ‘not out’ despite what looked a very good shout to the naked eye.

Dimuth Karunaratne, captaining his country for the first time, then took his time consulting his team-mates before signalling to send the decision upstairs for the review.

Bizarrely, that request was overlooked by Dar before it was ruled that the maximum time of 15 seconds allowed to request a review had passed.

Replays revealed that Amla had, in fact, been trapped plumb LBW but with the review not triggered, he survived.

It didn’t make the world of difference.

Amla (3) was out caught in the slips off the bowling of Lakmal without offering a shot as South Africa were reduced to 9/2.

Aiden Markram (11) was next to fall as he became the impressive Fernando’s second victim with an absolute cracker of a delivery.

Markram had looked to get forward, but Fernando landed the ball perfectly and moved it back in to the right-hander beat the inside edge and leave the hosts 17/3.

That brought Bavuma and skipper Du Plessis together, and the pair began fighting hard for every run with a series of quick singles scattered in between some resolute defence.

Du Plessis fell in the final over before lunch when he a Sri Lankan review saw him given out for edging a Kasun Rajitha delivery down the leg side. DM

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