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Defiant Karunaratne Carries Bat for Sri Lanka With 158 on First Day At Galle Against South Africa

Reuters |July 13, 2018, 12:06 AM IST
Defiant Karunaratne Carries Bat for Sri Lanka With 158 on First Day At Galle Against South Africa

Galle: Sri Lanka opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne struck a defiant unbeaten hundred on his return to the side to give the hosts a fighting first innings total in the opening test against South Africa on Thursday.

The 30-year-old carried his bat through the Sri Lankan innings to remain unbeaten on 158 as the hosts finished on 287 after stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal won the toss and chose to bat in the first of the two-test series.

South Africa lost opener Aiden Markram to veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to reach four for one at stumps. Dean Elgar and nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj were at the crease.

The hosts' regular captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded guilty to a disciplinary breach during the side's second test against West Indies last month and has opted to sit out of the series against South Africa.

The International Cricket Council, the world governing body of the sport, is due to announce a verdict in the case soon.

On a turning surface at Galle, it was fast bowler Kagiso Rabada who did the maximum damage for the touring side with four wickets for 50. Left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi, playing only his second test, returned figures of 3-91.

Former pace spearhead Dale Steyn, returning to the South African team from injury having last played a test in January, picked up the wicket of Kusal Mendis for 24 to trigger a mini collapse.

Rabada removed former captain Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva in the same over as the hosts lost three wickets for four runs to be left reeling at 119-5.

Experienced Karunaratne, back to open the batting for the hosts after missing the West Indies tour due to injury, stitched together meaningful stands with Niroshan Dickwella, who made 18, and Lakshan Sandakan, the duo adding 63 for the last wicket.

The left-handed batsman hit 13 fours and one six during his 222-ball unbeaten knock.

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Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
AUS
5 4 1 0 8 +0.81
2
NZ
4 3 0 1 7 +2.16
3
IND
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
4
ENG
4 3 1 0 6 +1.55
5
SL
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
6
WI
4 1 2 1 3 +0.66
7
SA
5 1 3 1 3 -0.20
8
BAN
4 1 2 1 3 -0.71
9
PAK
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
10
AFG
4 0 4 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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