Galle: Opener Dean Elgar struck a magnificent century for South Africa, but Sri Lanka came back strongly with four wickets in the final session to balance the scales on the opening day of the first Test, here.
Elgar’s 103, his second Test century, put South Africa in a strong position at tea on 194 for one after the visitors opted to bat. But following his dismissal in the third over of the final session, the visitors slid to 268 for five wickets at stumps.
Quinton de Kock, unbeaten on 17, and night-watchman Dale Steyn will resume on Thursday.
Pacer Suranga Lakmal struck two decisive blows for Sri Lanka to bring his team back in the reckoning. He first got rid of Elgar — who hit 11 fours and three sixes — when the batsman flashed at a wide delivery and edged a catch to wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal.
In the penultimate over, Lakmal bowled out the dangerous AB de Villiers for 21. Spinners Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera toiled all day and picked up a wicket each in the final session.