Faf du Plessis nears double ton at Centurion
Faf du Plessis scored his maiden 150 as South Africa continued to pile on the runs against stricken Sri Lanka, who were hit by more injuries during the second session of the third day at SuperSport Park.
When the tea break arrived on Monday, the Proteas were in full control of this Boxing Day Test on 565/6 and a first innings lead of 169, with Du Plessis cruising on 177 and Keshav Maharaj coming along nicely on 43.
The important partnership between Du Plessis, who must be targeting the 200-run mark, and Maharaj, who has played a good knock since he arrived, was on 89 off 112 balls.
They took full advantage of Sri Lanka’s mounting injury problems after they lost Lahiru Kumara and Wanindu Hasaranga was troubled by injuries to join Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha in the treatment room.
After lunch, Sri Lanka lost Kumara and they had a scare when wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella needed medical attention before he could continue after he was stung by a bee.
A few overs later, the visitors got the much-needed breakthrough when they removed South Africa’s last recognised batsman in Wiaan Mulder (36), who was caught behind by Dickwella from the bowling of Hasaranga.
The celebrations did not last long as Hasaranga left the field with what appeared a serious knee injury after he fell awkwardly while fielding on the boundary.
After receiving medical attention, Hasaranga returned to the field to bowl a few overs shortly before the tea break but it remains to be seen if he will be able to continue for the rest of the match, as he looked uncomfortable.
The unavailability of De Silva, Rajitha and Kumara has left the Sri Lankans with Dasun Shanaka and Vishwa Fernando as the only two recognised and fully fit bowlers, but they need to return with some fight in the third session.
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