Duminy pleased to shepherd Morkel well

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Batsman JP Duminy emerged the proud recipient of a fine century, after successfully shepherding all-rounder Vernon Philander and tail-ender Morne Morkel on day two of South Africa's first Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium.

Batsman JP Duminy emerged the proud recipient of a fine century, after successfully shepherding all-rounder Vernon Philander and tail-ender Morne Morkel on day two of South Africa's first Test against Sri Lanka.

Duminy finished with 100 not out in a final total of 455 for declared, sharing a solid eighth wicket alliance of 75 with Philander and a superb 66-run stand with Morkel.

The experienced left-hander struck 10 boundaries during a pleasing 206-delivery vigil, welcoming a fourth career Test ton after December 2008's 166 and February 2014's 123 against Australia – and March 2012's 103 versus New Zealand.

"I wasn't really thinking about the century until I got into my 80s. But, yes, it's always pleasing to get to triple figures in these conditions. The biggest challenge were the spinners and trying to marshal partnerships with the tail-enders, especially Morkel," said Duminy.

"Vernon and I have played together a long time so we sort of understand each other's games. Marshaling that partnership with Morne was crucial, and to see how he applied himself was exceptional.

"I think understanding my role within the team is more crucial. Batting at seven and trying to marshal the lower order as best a possible has always been key for me. The ton will come if I bat as long as possible, so I'm pretty pleased with getting the ton here."

Dilruwan Perera proved the pick of the hosts bowlers en route to figures of four for 162. The veteran Rangana Herath, who has taken two 10-wicket hauls in the longest format of the international game at this venue, was largely ineffective across a whopping 60 overs.

"You know what you're going to get with Herath. He's got great change of pace, but he hasn't got much variation. He doesn't give you anything." insisted Duminy.

The Sri Lankan reply moved to 30 without loss, reducing the deficit 425. Openers Kaushal Silva and Upul Tharanga will resume on eight not out and 20 not out respectively come Friday.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir proved expensive across two brief overs, while fast bowlers Dale Steyn, Philander and Morkel hardly threatened on a rather docile Galle International Stadium pitch.

"There is still plenty of hard work to be done. Friday is going to be crucial in setting up the game for us. Hopefully, we can make some early in-roads," added Duminy.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work. The wicket is pretty flat for the seamers, but there is a little bit there for the spinners. The game will probably speed up on day four and five, so Friday is going to be a crucial day to set up those last two days."

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