Cricket: Dasun Shanaka shines as Sri Lanka reach 396 against South Africa in Centurion

Centurion: Sri Lanka posted an imposing first innings total of 396 but suffered a second injury blow on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.

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Opening bowler Kasun Rajitha limped off the field after bowling one ball in his third over as South Africa reached 45 for no wicket at lunch. There was no immediate word on the nature of his injury.

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Sri Lanka were already without batsman Dhananjaya de Silva who was ruled out of the rest of the series after suffering a grade two tear in his left thigh which forced him to retire hurt after scoring 79 on Saturday.

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Dasun Shanaka hit an aggressive 66 not out before South African new cap Lutho Sipamla wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings by taking three wickets in 11 balls.

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Shanaka, 29, playing in his first Test in more than three years, and with a previous highest score of 17 in three appearances, hit three fours and five sixes in his 87-ball innings.

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Shanaka capitalised on some loose bowling, particularly by fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who conceded 28 runs in four overs as well as twice bowling bouncers which sailed over wicketkeeper and captain Quinton de Kock’s head for four byes. Shanaka reached his fifty with a pull for six off Nortje and two balls later slashed Nortje for another six over third man.

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Rajitha provided stoic support to Shanaka as the pair took their overnight partnership of 20 to 67 before a double bowling change led to the remaining wickets falling quickly.

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Wiaan Mulder, coming on for Lungi Ngidi, bowled a maiden to stem the flow of runs before Sipamla had Rajitha caught at second slip for 12 with his second ball of the morning, bowled Vishwa Fernando with his next delivery and ended the innings in his next over when Lahiru Kumara was caught at first slip.

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Sipamla, who conceded 38 runs in his first five overs on Saturday, finished with four for 76 off 16 overs.

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Sri Lanka’s total far exceeded their previous highest in a Test innings in South Africa, 342 in Cape Town in 2011/12.

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