Du Plessis scores 199, SA take command

PRETORIA, December 28

Faf du Plessis made a career-best 199 as South Africa prospered in the first Test against injury-hit Sri Lanka with a massive first-innings score of 621 and a lead of 160 on Day 3.

Sri Lanka closed on 65/2 in their second innings with Kusal Mendis (33 not out) and Dinesh Chandimal (21 not out) at the crease, but are effectively five wickets down with team officials revealing that injured Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and Dhananjaya de Silva will not bat.

There is also concern for Chandimal, who needed treatment on his thigh and looked in some discomfort.

Home seamer Lungi Ngidi (2/28) picked up both wickets, bowling captain Dimuth Karunaratne (6) with a delivery that kept low, before Kusal Mendis (0) edged to slip.

Du Plessis fell short of a major milestone with a poor selection of shot as he attempted to lift leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (4/171) over mid-on, but instead offered a simple catch to Karunaratne. He faced 276 balls and hit 24 fours, a masterful display of batting on a wicket that was not easy for batsmen with pace and variable bounce. Du Plessis also put on a record seventh-wicket stand against Sri Lanka of 133 with Keshav Maharaj (73), who went to his highest Test score before he was the last batsman out. — Reuters

Bowlers put NZ in control of first Test

Wellington: New Zealand’s bowlers took a couple of rain and hail shower delays in their stride and slowly broke down Pakistan’s stubborn resistance to help the hosts take control of the first Test today. Faheem Ashraf was dismissed for 91, his highest Test score, just before the close of the third day’s play at Bay Oval as Pakistan were bowled out for 239, still 192 runs behind New Zealand’s 431. AP

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