TEST ROUND-UP: du Plessis’ 199 puts SA in control; Black Caps take big lead against Pakistan
Faf du Plessis made a career-best 199 as South Africa prospered in the first Test against Sri Lanka with a massive first-innings score of 621 and a lead of 160 on day three on Monday.
Sri Lanka closed on 65-2 in their second innings with Kusal Mendis (33 not out) and Dinesh Chandimal (21 not out) at the crease.
Home seamer Lungi Ngidi (2-28) picked up both wickets to fall, bowling captain Dimuth Karunaratne (6) with a delivery that kept low, before Kusal Mendis (0) edged to slip.
Du Plessis fell short of a major milestone with a poor selection of shot as he attempted to lift leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (4-171) over mid-on, but instead offered a simple catch to Karunaratne.
He faced 276 balls and hit 24 fours, a masterful display of batting on a wicket that was not easy for batsmen with pace and variable bounce.
New Zealand’s bowlers took a couple of rain and hail shower delays in their stride and slowly broke down Pakistan’s stubborn resistance to help the hosts take control of the first Test on Monday.
Faheem Ashraf was dismissed for 91, his highest Test score, just before the close of the third day’s play at Bay Oval as Pakistan were bowled out for 239, still 192 runs behind New Zealand’s 431.
The tourists had been facing the prospect of being asked to bat again after captain Mohammad Rizwan was sensationally run out by Mitchell Santner for 71 to end a 107-run partnership with Faheem Ashraf that left them 187-7 with about an hour to play.
Faheem, however, saw them past the follow-on and surpassed his previous highest score of 83 against Ireland before he was dismissed with five minutes left in the day’s play.