Amla holds steady but Proteas struggle

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South Africa were well behind the pace at stumps on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka, reaching the close on 98 for three after a battling evening session against the home spinners, and trailing by 323.

South Africa were well behind the pace at stumps on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka, reaching the close on 98 for three after a battling evening session against the home spinners, and trailing by 323.

Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 421 in the afternoon, and the visitors were soon two down for 13 as they lost both openers cheaply. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis then battled at snail's pace to steady the knock.

Sri Lanka started the day on 305 for five, with Mahela Jayawardene unbeaten on 140 and the hosts going at a run rate of nearly four to the over. He passed the 150 mark, but was run out by Alviro Petersen for 165.

Debutant Niroshan Dickwella, who had been on 12 overnight, continued the fight and made a half century, as Sri Lanka reached lunch with just the one wicket lost in the session.

The first hour after lunch was all South Africa's though, as they took the final three wickets for 17 runs. Dickwella was out for 63, run out by Quinton de Kock, who also took four catches in the innings.

Imran Tahir and Vernon Philander wrapped up the tail, some soft dismissals offered up, and thus the Proteas had to face 16 overs before tea. It did not go well for them, as they succumbed to the spin of Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera.

Alviro Petersen and Dean Elgar were out for two and one respectively, leaving Amla and Du Plessis to see out the session, and they did so at snail's pace. Amla had faced 19 balls for his two runs by tea, while Du Plessis was on 17 off 45.

In the evening the pair continued to defend most deliveries, with Du Plessis passing his innings average of 105 balls faced. He was eventually out for 39 off 109 balls, caught behind off Suranga Lakmal, down the leg side.

Amla and AB de Villiers then continued till the close, adding just 27 runs in the next 14 overs. Amla was on 46 off 134 balls at stumps, while De Villiers had reached 11.

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