Colombo: South Africa lost the wicket of opener Alviro Petersen for a duck as they chased 369 runs for victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Petersen was caught at silly point by Kithuruwan Vithanage as he prodded forward to a length ball from Rangana Herath that turned appreciably to take the edge of his bat.
On a pitch that was assisting the spinners, South Africa were spared further damage when bad light ended play with 21 overs still remaining to be bowled for the day.
Dean Elgar was on 13 and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, promoted up the order, on 21, as South Africa ended the day on 38 for one.
South Africa, who lead the two-Test series 1-0, require a further 331 runs from a minimum of 98 overs to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand.
Earlier, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews completed his second half-century of the match and went past 1000 runs for the calendar year before declaring the second innings at the fall of the eighth wicket on 229.
The right-handed batsman followed his first-innings 63 with a similar knock in the second to remain unbeaten on 63 with two sixes and two fours.
Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the final session with Imran Tahir bowling Dilruwan Perera for seven and Morkel claiming his fourth wicket of the innings by having Herath caught by AB de Villiers for four. Kumar Sangakkara and Mathews led Sri Lanka’s hunt for quick runs on Sunday with a fourth-wicket partnership of 81.
Sangakkara registered his 50th Test half century with an aggressive 72 off 90 balls, including eight fours, before he was dismissed edging Morkel to de Kock.
Morkel picked up his 200th Test wicket when Kithuruwan Vithanage (seven) was caught splendidly by Faf du Plessis at backward point off a top edge.
Niroshan Dickwella (16) fell to Dale Steyn when he top edged a pull to lob up an easy catch for de Villiers at square leg.