Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka in a strong position on Saturday on the first day of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion. De Silva made 79 before retiring and was injured and former Captain Chandimal hit 85 when Sri Lanka reached 340 for six at the end. De Silva suffered what appeared to be a left hip injury while running between wickets and was taken off the field on a motorized stretcher. It was not clear whether he would be able to continue in the competition.
His injury ended a 131 partnership with Chandimal. Together they stabilized the Sri Lankan innings after a helter-go-kart start in which they lost their first three wickets for 54 runs in 11 overs.
De Silva played some smooth strokes in hitting 11 fours and a six of 105 balls, while Chandimal played an anchor roll, reaching his half century of 116 balls in the last over for tea.
Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella (49) added 99 more runs before South Africa finally claimed a fourth wicket when Chandimal was caught in a slip glove a ball from all-rounder Wiaan Mulder that went a length. Chandimal hit 11 fours in his 161 ball innings.
The medium-weight Mulder was South Africa’s most consistent bowler, finishing the day with three wickets for 68 runs.
South Africa carried out their most inexperienced fast bowling attack since 1993, with Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, rookie Lutho Sipamla and Mulder with just 12 caps and 35 wickets between them.
On a pitch that offered bounce and early movement, the bowlers struggled to find consistency, with Sipamla leaking 28 runs in three overs with the new ball.
Sipamla played for the limitless Glenton Stuurman, who was expected to play, but was of the opinion that he had not fully recovered from a thigh injury.
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne took advantage of Sipamla’s loose bowling to score 22 of 20 balls before being bowled from an inner rim by Ngidi with the total left at 28 in the fifth.
Sri Lanka then lost two wickets to lose shots with the total at 54.
Kusal Mendis missed a pull shot and was caught halfway on Nortje before Kusal Perera played a wild hit on Mulder and was left in the next over.
Due to the Covid-19 protocols, the game was played without spectators.
It was the first test game for both teams since January.
Topics mentioned in this article