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Sri Lanka make cautious start chasing 488

South African batsman and Captain Faf du Plessis (R) raises his bat as he celebrates scoring half century (50 runs) during the fourth day of the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka on December 29, 2016 at the Port Elizabeth cricket ground in Port Elizabeth.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

Sri Lanka made a cautious start to their second innings after South Africa declared on the fourth day of the first Test at St George’s Park on Thursday.

Set to make an improbable 488 to win, Sri Lanka were 27 for no wicket at lunch.

South Africa declared on 406 for six in their second innings.

Opening batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva, showing greater discipline than most of the Sri Lankans displayed in the first innings, survived 14 overs from the South African fast bowlers.

Karunaratne flashed at the third ball of the innings, bowled by Vernon Philander, but apart from that the batsmen resisted temptation outside the off stump on a pitch which did not offer the bowlers as much help as it did in the first innings.

Silva gave a half-chance on five when Kagiso Rabada produced a ball that reared up at him.

It looped off his right glove and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock got his fingertips to the ball before it went for four runs.

South African captain Faf du Plessis and De Kock added 55 runs in 10.5 overs on Thursday before Du Plessis declared when De Kock missed a sweep against left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and was leg before wicket.

De Kock made 69 off 86 balls and Du Plessis was unbeaten on 67, also made off 86 deliveries.

The pair put on 129, a record sixth wicket partnership for South Africa against Sri Lanka. It was also the third century stand of an innings during which South Africa scored at an average of 4.47 runs an over.

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