January 4, 2017 / 11:08 AM / 7 months ago

Cricket-Elgar scores fifty as South Africa stretch lead past 400

CAPE TOWN, Jan 4 (Reuters) - South Africa opener Dean Elgar continued his strong form with another half-century as the hosts extended their lead against Sri Lanka to 418 runs at lunch on the third day of the second test at Newlands on Wednesday.

Seamer Suranga Lakmal took three wickets before the break in a much improved showing for the touring side after being pounded for the first two days.

After resuming on 35-0, South Africa were 136-4 in their second innings, firmly in command having effectively batted Sri Lanka out of the contest to put themselves in a strong position to go 2-0 up in the three-test series.

Elgar, who scored 129 in the first innings, made 55 in the second before edging veteran spinner Rangana Herath to Angelo Mathews at first slip to be the third wicket to fall on Wednesday.

Lakmal made the first two breakthroughs in the same over.

First to go was Stephen Cook, who was squared up and edged the ball to Dimuth Karunaratne in the slips, on 30.

Five balls later Lakmal tempted Hashim Amla forward and a tentative push saw him get caught behind without scoring as his wretched run of form continued.

JP Duminy was given out leg before wicket when on 18 but overturned the decision with a successful review, which showed Nuwan Pradeep's delivery was going over the wicket.

Duminy (30) was adjudged lbw again when Lakmal wrapped him on the pads in the last over before lunch.

The batsman considered another review but took too much time while discussing with batting partner Faf du Plessis and lost his chance to appeal.

Lakmal went to lunch with figures of 3-34 while Du Plessis was 20 not out.

South Africa scored 392 in their first innings to which Sri Lanka replied with a paltry 110. The hosts, who won the first test in Port Elizabeth last week, did not enforce the follow-on. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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