South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2016, 1st Test, day 4 - 5 Talking Points
Sri Lanka gave South Africa an early scare before succumbing to a sequence of tame dismissals to hand the hosts the advantage at the close of play on Day 4. Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis and skipper, Angelo Matthews helped Lanka stay afloat after their openers had set a good platform.
South Africa struggled to break through the Lankan batsmen on a hot day with little assistance from the wicket although all the bowlers were quite disciplined and stuck to their plans pretty well. Keshav Maharaj provided the perfect foil to the three pacers and captured two important wickets.
Lanka will head into Day 5 knowing that their last recognised batting pair is at the crease and they cannot afford any more loose strokes. A tame run out ended the opening partnership and Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Chandimal gifted their wickets to the South Africans as they threw away the hard work of Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva.
Here are the talking points from the day's play.
#5 de Kock and du Plessis play no target game
After de Kock and du Plessis had played patiently, yet with intent on Day 3, some quick scoring and a timely declaration were expected. Instead, on Day 4, the duo continued to test the patience of the Sri Lankans, and dare say, the fans.
Both of them eased past their half-centuries at a strike rate a touch above 70 and continued casually with odd boundaries here and there. Even when the spinners were brought on, they showed little acceleration although de Kock did loft one over the covers off de Silva.
de Kock was eventually dismissed by Herath to end the 129 run stand and du Plessis immediately declared the innings to set Lanka a target of 488, 2 shy of what Pakistan needed at the Gabba last week.