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1st Test: Dale Steyn gives South Africa control at Galle on Day 3

Steyn fired up the tourists with a spell of 5/50 to restrict Sri Lanka to 283/9, which gave South Africa a lead of 172 at stumps on the third day.

Associated Press |July 18, 2014, 6:52 PM IST
1st Test: Dale Steyn gives South Africa control at Galle on Day 3

Galle: Pace bowler Dale Steyn grabbed 5 for 50 to help restrict Sri Lanka to 283 for 9 in reply to South Africa's first-innings score of 455 for 9 declared on day three Friday of the first Test.

It was the 23rd five-wicket haul in 73 Tests for Steyn, who gained appreciable reverse swing to rip through the middle order after taking two wickets in the first session.

Steyn took 3 for 8 in a five-over spell in the post-tea session as Sri Lanka slipped from 190 for 4 to 201 for 7 and stared at the prospect of following on.

Steyn was spot on during that five-over spell as Lahiru Thirimanne (38) was caught behind, Dinesh Chandimal (8) pulled straight to short mid-wicket, and Dilruwan Perera (0) inside-edged one to be caught behind.

At the close, Rangana Herath was not out on 12 with last man Shaminda Eranga due to come in as Sri Lanka was still 172 runs behind.

Captain Angelo Mathews produced a fine counter-offensive to save home blushes with another staunch innings of 89 which came with the help of one six and 14 fours.

Mathews once smashed Morne Morkel for five fours in an over to get past the 50-run mark for the 15th time in his career. He added 71 for the eighth wicket with Herath in what was the best partnership of the innings.

The Sri Lanka middle order had been struggling to capitalize on opener Upul Tharanga's innings of 83 before Mathews stepped up yet again. In sight of a century in a third straight Test, Mathews mistimed a sweep of Imran Tahir and sent the ball onto his stumps. He'd played 182 deliveries, and gave legspinner Tahir his only wicket.

Tharanga, 20 in an overnight score of 30 without loss, marked his return to Test cricket after more than six years with his fourth half century

The left-hander struck one six and 14 fours before he was stumped off spinner Jean-Paul Duminy after facing 155 balls. His was the only wicket to fall in the middle session.

Earlier, Steyn and Morkel shared three wickets in the morning session to peg back the home side.

Tharanga batted with confidence well past lunch, adding 59 runs for the second wicket with Kumar Sangakkara, who was out for 24.

Tharanga passed 50 with two fours off an over from Duminy. He struck the offspinner past point and two deliveries later, straight down the ground, to move from 45 to 53.

But Sri Lanka were always under pressure from the early dismissals of Kaushal Silva and the experienced pair of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in the first session.

Silva was caught by Vernon Philander at the long-leg boundary without adding to his overnight score of 8 as he tried to hook Steyn.

Sangakkara was out immediately after a brief 10-minute rain break as he shaped for a pull off Morkel but played the ball on to the stumps.

Jayawardene, who has announced he will retire from Tests next month, was trapped lbw by Steyn after making just 3.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
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