Proteas press home advantage

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Despite a flurry of late wickets the Proteas ended day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka firmly in control leading Sri Lanka by 432 runs with five wickets in hand.

South Africa made short work of the Sri Lankan tail in the morning session with Vernon Philander completing his five for by grabbing two wickets in the opening over of the day.

Kyle Abbott wrapped the innings up in the eighth over of the day having Dusmantha Chameera caught at first slip leaving Sri Lanka trailing the Proteas by 81 runs after the first innings.

Philander ended with figures of 5 for 45 his eleventh Test five wicket haul.

Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar put on their second consecutive hundred partnership as South Africa quickly established their dominance.

When Elgar went for 52 the Proteas were on 116 and looking strong.

Under pressure Hashim Amla looked fluent as he and Cook shared 105 run stand for the second wicket with the latter reaching his third Test century along the way.

Amla (48) eventually departed but in doing so carved out a piece of perhaps unwanted history as he became the 10,000th victim of a leg before decision in Test cricket.

The dismissal of Amla took the Proteas to tea at 221/2 but Sri Lanka would fight back in the final session.

The tourists picked up the wickets of Cook (117), Duminy (25) and Bavuma (8) in the final session but it couldn’t take the gloss off a day that was firmly the Proteas.

Bizarrely Bavuma declined to review his dismissal despite appearing to get nowhere near the ball with his bat and being given out caught.

Faf du Plessis (41 not out) and Quinton de Kock (42 not out) are well set to launch a quickfire offensive tomorrow morning having put on an unbroken stand of 74 before the close to take South Africa to 338/5.