Sri Lanka’s injury-hit cricketers took a pounding from South Africa’s batsmen and bowlers on the third day of the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Monday.
Former captain Faf du Plessis led the batting assault, hitting 199 as South Africa took a commanding 225-run first innings lead.
Then fast bowler Lungi Ngidi struck twice at the start of Sri Lanka’s second innings to leave the tourists struggling on 65/2, still 160 runs behind, on a pitch of increasingly unpredictable bounce.
Sri Lanka’s injury woes continued and at one stage three of their five regular bowlers were off the field as South Africa amassed a first innings total of 621.
Kasun Rajitha, who suffered a groin injury at the start of the innings on Sunday, did not take the field again and fellow fast bowler Lahiru Kumara suffered a similar injury soon after lunch after bowling a single ball in a new spell. He also did not return.
Debutant leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was off the field for part of the afternoon after falling on the ball trying to make a diving save on the boundary. But he returned to finish with four wickets, albeit at the high cost of 171 runs.
Sri Lanka will face an uphill battle to avoid defeat, with batsman Dhananjaya de Silva not expected to bat after being ruled out of the series with a torn thigh muscle.
At one stage, Sri Lanka had four substitutes on the field, while captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis were called into action as emergency bowlers.