Dean Elgar stood tall on the seaming Johannesburg pitch and recorded his 13th Test hundred. His knock of 127 was weaved with 22 boundaries. South Africa's newfound number 3, Rassie van der Dussen, added 184 runs with Elgar before the duo got out in consecutive overs.
ESPNcricinfo quoted Dean Elgar ruing South African batsmen's inability to adapt to home conditions and advised them to be watchful early in their innings.
"We had to absorb a little bit and there were quite a few moments when we went through the gears. You have to be able to adapt. You can't just be batting in one gear and expect to be consistent. It's maybe the nature of the pitches we are playing on, especially now. When you come into bat, you've really got to be on the ball and it shows you how important it is to have batters in. I went out and then Rassie went out which is not ideal," said Elgar.
Elgar, who had recently thrown in his hat for the Test captaincy role, also felt that they were mentally a bit behind after coming off a long break.
"But maybe from a mental point of view we lacked a little bit, or maybe we don't trust our technique. We've got to take conditions into account. Once you are able to get through that time and respect conditions, you can conquer the conditions. Being our first series at home we have played in a long time, we will address it and take it from there. I think it's a mental thing and guys need to be made aware of it," he added.
"I didn't feel too nervous" - Dean Elgar on making an overnight ton
Dean Elgar started his vigil on Day 2 at 92 not out but denied having any butterflies before the start of play.
"I had a glass of wine and it made me sleep very well but I've been in the nineties overnight in first-class cricket before so it's not my first time. I didn't feel anything; I didn't feel anxious. And I woke up nice and early as well thinking I might not wake up to my alarm. But no, I didn't feel too nervous starting today's play," said Dean Elgar.
Dimuth Karnuaratne played a captain's knock of 91 not out to award the visitors a marginal 5-run lead at the end of the day. However, with Sri Lankans 4 down already, South Africans continue to occupy the driver's seat.