Jacques Kallis and Alviro Petersen hit centuries to drive South Africa into a commanding position on the first day of the third Test against Sri Lanka at Newlands yesterday.
South Africa, trying to win a series at home for the first time in three years, had slipped to 56 for two after being sent in to bat, before Kallis and Petersen took them to 236 for two at tea.
Kallis reached his 41st century in his 150th Test. Petersen, playing his first Test since January last year, was unbeaten on 99 at the break, but he reached his second Test century soon after the resumption.
The pair were particularly productive after lunch as they added 101 runs in 27 overs, taking their record third-wicket stand to 180, the most for any South Africa wicket against Sri Lanka.
Kallis has now completed a full set of centuries against every other Test-playing nation, the second South Africa player after current coach Gary Kirsten and the 12th batsman overall to do so.
Seamer Dhammika Prasad had struck twice in the first hour, keeping to a tight line and removing both Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla for 16, before Sri Lanka’s bowling effort descended into near-chaos.
Prasad, brought into the Sri Lanka side for the first time in the series to replace the injured Dilhara Fernando, got a wicket with his first ball as the left-handed Smith chopped a delivery that was angling across him back onto his stumps.
Smith had looked in very good form, hitting three fours off left-armer Chanaka Welegedara in the previous over.
Amla then played across a straight delivery from Prasad to be trapped leg before wicket.
South Africa decided to recall Petersen in a shuffling of their batting lineup, with Jacques Rudolph moving down to No. 6 and Ashwell Prince being dropped. Pace bowler Vernon Philander also returned after injury, replacing Marchant de Lange.
Sri Lanka brought in opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne in place of Tharanga Paranavitana.