Dilruwan dominates as SA fall well short

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South Africa captain Hashim Amla's two-day vigil saw him record 139 not out, but it was not enough to save his side from a hefty deficit, as Sri Lanka led by 150 runs at stumps on day three in Colombo, on 11 for none.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla's two-day vigil saw him record 139 not out, but it was not enough to save his side from a hefty deficit, as Sri Lanka led by 150 runs at stumps on day three in Colombo, on 11 for none.

Amla made the first ton by a South Africa captain in Sri Lanka in the afternoon, batting at an agonising but necessary pace as Sri Lanka struck with regularity to leave the Proteas all out for 282 late in the day.

The Proteas started the day on 98 for three, with Amla nearing a half century and AB de Villiers on 11, having scored those runs across a span of 50-odd overs, so not at a threatening pace at all.

Amla was soon into his 50s, his first since taking over as Test skipper, and it came off a whopping 140 balls. De Villiers also progressed slightly quicker than the previous evening, and he reached 37 before falling.

De Villiers was one of two wickets to fall in one Dilruwan Perera over. He had earlier survived an appeal for caught behind, which had to be sent upstairs after being claimed, but replays showed Niroshan Dickwella had taken it on the bounce.

But his luck ran out with the score on 150, as Dilruwan trapped him LBW. De Villiers sent it for review, but there was no evidence of an inside edge or anything else to negate it, so he departed. Quinton de Kock was bowled for a duck two balls later.

The rest of the morning session saw Amla and JP Duminy resist the spinners, with Duminy making his three runs off 39 balls by lunch, while Amla had passed the 200-delivery mark to reach 77.

The afternoon saw Duminy fail to add a run to his score, though he did end up facing 58 balls. He tried to break free, dancing down the wicket to Rangana Herath, but only succeeded in getting stumped.

The other wicket to fall before tea was Vernon Philander's. He added nine runs to the score, during which time Amla bagged his 22nd Test century, and his first since becoming captain. Big Vern was bowled by Perera.

This left Dale Steyn to bat out the session with Amla, and the paceman was in an aggressive mood. He struck Herath for six back over his head on his way to 18 at tea, off 42 balls. Amla was on 119 at the interval.

The evening saw Amla only add 20 more runs to his score, eventually facing a massive 383 balls, while the tail tried to stick with him. Steyn made 30 impressive runs before being bagged by Herath, while the spinner also removed Imran Tahir.

The leg-spinner was impressive with the bat, sticking with his captain in tough circumstances to make 15 off 32 balls, but he could not do what the top order also failed to achieve. Morne Morkel was the last to fall, giving Dilruwan his five-fer.

Sri Lanka then batted for five overs before the close, adding 11 runs. Upul Tharanga was on six at the close, and Kaushal Silva on five. Thoughts will now turn to how long a declaration will be in coming on day four.

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