Sri Lanka reign in Colombo despite Maharaj milestone

South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj tries to stop a ball next to Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne

Left-arm orthodox spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed the best test innings figures by a South African bowler since the country's readmission to worldwide cricket in the second match against Sri Lanka at Sinhalese Sports Club grounds on Saturday.

The hosts built up their domineering lead at the end of a day in which their 10th wicket pair added valuable runs to build a first innings of 338.

Danushka Gunathilaka and Karunaratne completed their second half-centuries of the match putting together an opening partnership of 91 to go with their first innings effort of 116.

South Africa's reply seemed especially meek after Dananjaya and Herath's valiant last-wicket stand.

The 28-year-old Maharaj's nine wicket haul was also the best by a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka.

The bulk of the damage was done by Akila Dananjaya who took his second five-wicket haul in only his third Test match (5/52) in only 13 overs.

At the wickets were Dimuth Karunaratne on 59 not out and Angelo Mathews on 12 not out.

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Gunathilaka was Sri Lanka's primary aggressor, hitting six fours and two sixes in his 61 off 68 balls after tea on the second day.

However, Sri Lanka are on course for victory after bowling the tourists out for 124 in their first innings.

Dananjaya took five wickets as South Africa crumbled to 124 all out.

Only South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock mustered significant scores, making 48 off 51 balls and 32 off 31 respectively.

Maharaj's 9-129 is the second best by a South African in tests, behind only Hugh Tayfield's 9-113 against England in 1957, but his success brought little cheer to a side battling their own spin vulnerabilities.

He got Theunis de Bruyn edging behind in the next over, and Perera picked up the South Africa middle order to finish on four for 40.

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