Dean Elgar continued his good form, scoring a half century off 82 balls, leading the South African batting effort. © AFP

Dean Elgar continued his good form, scoring a half century off 82 balls, leading the South African batting effort. © AFP

Vernon Philander struck early for South Africa after Sri Lanka were set a massive target of 507 on the third day of the second Test at Newlands on Wednesday (January 3). Sri Lanka reached tea at 17 for 1.

Philander bowled Dimuth Karunaratne for 6 in the sixth over of the innings with a ball that swung back between bat and pad as the left-hander attempted to drive.

South Africa had earlier declared their second innings on 224 for 7, 45 minutes before the break.

Dean Elgar hit a half-century to add to his first-innings hundred. Suranga Lakmal restored some pride for the tourists, taking 4 for 69 and ensuring South Africa did not bat with complete freedom as they sought to set up the declaration.

Elgar and Stephen Cook put on 64 for the first wicket before Cook was caught at first slip off Lakmal, making 30.

Lakmal then dismissed Hashim Amla in the same over. Amla’s recent run of poor form continued when he edged an outswinger to be caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal without scoring after facing five balls.

Elgar, who made 129 in the first innings, reached his fifty off 82 balls with seven fours, but was out soon afterwards, caught at slip off Rangana Herath, left-arm spinner.

Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were caught behind for 41 and 29 respectively before Keshav Maharaj and Philander pushed the target beyond 500.