Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander took four wickets each as South Africa bowled out Sri Lanka for 110 in their first innings and took total control of the second Test on the second day at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday (January 3).
South Africa built on a first innings lead of 282 and reached 35 for no loss by the close, an overall lead of 317 runs. The opening duo of Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook remained unbeaten on 19 and 15 respectively. With three days remaining, Sri Lanka faced a seemingly impossible task if they were to prevent South Africa from securing a series-clinching win with one Test left.
Rabada took 4 for 37 and Philander 4 for 27.
The Sri Lankan batting crumbled after Rabada broke a stubborn opening partnership.
Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne defied South Africa’s new-ball attack for 73 minutes, putting on 31 runs, before Rabada made the breakthrough in the 16th over when Silva was forced on to the back foot by a lifting delivery, which he played on to his stumps.
Sri Lanka lost the second wicket when Kusal Mendis, who had earlier slog-swept Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner, for six, tried to repeat the shot and top-edged a simple catch to JP Duminy at short cover. Both Silva and Mendis were dismissed for personal scores of 11.
The innings went into an irreversible slide three balls after tea when Karunaratne, who had made a patient 24, cut Rabada and Temba Bavuma dived to take a sharp, low catch at backward point.
Rabada and Maharaj reduced the Lankans to 78 for 6 soon after before Upul Tharanga and Rangana Herath put on 22 for the seventh wicket. But Philander wrapped up the innings by taking the final four wickets at a personal cost of five runs in 12 balls.
Maharaj, bowling into a strong south-easterly wind, took 2 for 32 while the two fast bowlers took seven of their combined eight wickets with the wind at their backs. Both Rabada and Philander reached personal milestones. Rabada took his 50th wicket in his 13th Test, while Philander reached 150 wickets in 39 Tests.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock made his third Test century and Lahiru Kumara took six wickets before the South African innings ended when Kumara completed his haul with the last ball before lunch.
Kumara, 19, who had not taken more than two wickets in an innings in his previous two Test matches and three other first-class games, finished with 6 for 122.
De Kock took his score from 68 overnight to 101, made off 124 balls with 11 fours, before edging Kumara to Dinesh Chandimal, the wicketkeeper.
Seven South Africans were caught behind, three by Mendis when Chandimal was suffering from a fever on the first day and four by Chandimal on Tuesday. The combined wicketkeeping haul was one more than the Sri Lankan Test record and equal to the world record.