SL Vs SA, 2018: Dimuth Karunaratne Scores an Unbeaten Century as Host post 287 on Day 1

Dimuth Karunaratne, Galle, Test Hundred, South Africa
Dimuth Karunaratne delivers good for Sri Lanka against South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Dimuth Karunaratne played some terrific shots to compile a brilliant unbeaten 158 as the hosts ended up with a competitive 287 versus South Africa on Thursday (June 12) at stumps on Day one of the opening Test in Galle.Meanwhile, ace spinner Rangana Herath followed up Karunaratne’s noteworthy innings dismissing Aiden Markram at the fag end of the day.
After Sri Lanka had opted to bat, Karunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka (26) began on a good note. Gunathilaka gave a glimpse of his potential with a flick and punch.
However, as a result, it forced Faf du Plessis to introduce his chief weapon, speedster Kagiso Rabada, who in turn made the initial incision.
In his second over, Rabada generated enough swing and movement off the seam to find the outside edge of Gunathilaka with Quinton de Kock pouching the catch.
The spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi joined forces with Rabada to trouble Karunaratne and the one-drop batsman Dhananjaya de Silva. Shamsi then rattled up de Silva with his left-arm leg break.
SL Vs SA, 2018: Dimuth Karunaratne Scores an Unbeaten Century as Host post 287 on Day 1
Getty Images.

At that stage of Lanka’s innings, the hosts seemed to have a slight edge. However, Rabada, the No.1 ranked Test match bowler, and Shamsi pulled things back impressively in the afternoon session by running through the middle order in quick succession.

Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, and Niroshan Dickwella fell to the pair before it forced the officials to take tea early. Dale Steyn, returning from injury, also chipped in by sending the dangerous Kusal Mendis back to the hut.

Karunaratne stitches crucial partnership with tailenders:

Just to summarize Karunaratne’s impressive knock, he scored 55 percent of the runs accumulated by Sri Lanka on whole. He used his wrists to keep the scorecard rotating. It was only when there was a loose ball on offer, he attempted to play shots against the spinners. 
Prominent batter Karunaratne also showed his class and quality by adding 111 runs with Suranga Lakmal and Lakshan Sandakan, batting at No. 10 and 11 respectively.
SL Vs SA, 2018: Dimuth Karunaratne Scores an Unbeaten Century as Host post 287 on Day 1
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The pair soon stitched the fifty-run stand. By then, the Proteas looked flat in the field. Eventually, Shamsi provided the finishing touches by removing Sandakan.
Karunaratne, at the other end, became the 55th batsman to carry his bat through a completed innings in Tests.
To make matters worse for the tourists, Herath got one to drift and turn as he forced Markram to edge it to the slip fielder. At the close of play, South Africa were four for one, still trailing by 283.
Karunaratne’s innings has put Sri Lanka in a strong position. South African batsmen need to show exemplary technique and temperament to counter the wiles of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan on a turning surface.

Brief scoresSri Lanka 287 (Dimuth Karunaratne 158*; Kagiso Rabada 4-50) lead South Africa 4/1 (Rangana Herath 1-1) by 283 runs

Also read: Michael Vaughan predicts the winner of ODI series

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