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Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 278 runs in 1st Test

AFP  |  Galle 

collapsed dramatically against Sri lanka's spin to crash to 73 all out in the first Test in on Saturday, their lowest total since readmission to international

The dismal performance came a day after they were bowled out for just 126, which had been their previous lowest Test innings in

Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took six for 32, and veteran left-arm spinner claimed three for 32, as the pair bowled in an unbroken partnership for 28 overs, after set a target of 352 for victory.

Herath moved to ninth on the all-time wicket tally, with 423 career dismissals to his name, while Perera's five-wicket haul was the sixth of his career.

South Africa's match aggregate of 199 was 20 runs fewer than opener Dimuth Karunaratne's individual score across both innings.

Only three of the visitors made it into double figures, and the highest partnership yielded just 22, as batsmen repeatedly fell in their attempts to take on the Sri Lanka spinners. South Africa's top scorer was Vernon Philander, who made 22 not out, with opener Aiden Markram batting out the most deliveries, facing 46 balls for his 19.

Perera made the first breakthrough in the third over after lunch, having opener stumped, after the batsman ran down the pitch and failed to connect with a turning delivery.

was caught at leg slip for a duck in Perera's next over, and was caught for two by the shortly after, reducing to 24 for 3. The wickets continued to tumble as Herath began to strike as well, with the next three batsmen out for 11 runs in the space of four overs.

It was not until left-arm spinner joined Philander at the crease with the score on 36 for 6 that South Africa began to show any resistance, and even that partnership was snuffed out in 22 balls.

Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan was required only to take the final wicket of the innings, while paceman and stand-in Suranga did not bowl himself in this innings at all.

South Africa had begun the day 272 runs in arrears, but had bowled with discipline to remove the last six Sri Lanka wickets for 79 runs.

Kagiso Rabada had struck twice in an over in the first hour of the day, before spinners Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and took one wicket apiece to finish the innings off. Sri Lanka's second innings 190 was built on 35 from Angelo Mathews, and a stroke-filled 33 off 46 balls from Lakmal, who came in at No. 9.

South Africa were always going to struggle with a target of 352, but the rate at which they lost their wickets will be cause for serious concern ahead of the second Test in Colombo.

Sri Lanka's regular has been suspended for the series after he pleaded guilty to a breach of the spirit of cricket, over an incident that occurred in the last month.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 14 2018. 15:50 IST