1st test: Sri Lanka 161-6 v SAfrica; Steyn closer to record

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis plays a shot against South Africa during the first day's play of their first test cricket match in Galle, Sri Lanka, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

South African pacer Kagiso Rabada left the Sri Lankans reeling as they slumped to 161-6 at an early tea due to rain on the opening day of the first test in Galle

GALLE, Sri Lanka — South African pacer Kagiso Rabada left the Sri Lankans reeling as they slumped to 161-6 at an early tea due to rain on the opening day of the first cricket test in Galle on Thursday.

Dimuth Karunaratne was 80 not out.

Resuming after lunch on 93-2, Rabada claimed two wickets in the space of three deliveries.

Replacing Dale Steyn from the Dutch Fort End, Rabada struck in the first delivery of his third spell with Angelo Mathews (1) caught behind.

Two balls later, a short delivery saw Roshen Silva (0) fending the ball straight into the hands of short leg.

In Rabada's next over, Niroshan Dickwella was ruled out leg before wicket, but the batsman successfully reviewed the decision.

Before Rabada's burst, Steyn dismissed Kusal Mendis (24) as an attempted flick shot by the batsman ended up in the hands of Rabada at mid-on. Mendis' dismissal ended a 45-run stand for the third wicket with Karunaratne and that started the slide as Sri Lanka slumped to 119-5 after being 115-2.

Veteran paceman Steyn is making a comeback after injury and now has 420 wickets. The 35-year-old Steyn now needs one more wicket to match Shaun Pollock's tally of 421 wickets as the highest wicket-taker for South Africa.

Dickwella survived some nervous moments and added 42 runs for the sixth wicket before Tabraiz Shamsi made the breakthrough as the batsman's luck ran out when he was caught by Hashim Amla at slip for 18.

Soon after, a heavy downpour forced the players indoors, 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Karunaratne was running out of partners as he remained unbeaten on 80 that came off 132 deliveries with seven fours and a six. South Africa had a chance to dismiss the 30-year-old but Makram at short leg failed to hold onto the chance that Shamsi had created.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat.

Suranga Lakmal is leading the Sri Lankan side in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, who pleaded guilty for conduct that is contrary to the spirit of cricket and will miss the two-test series along with coach Chandika Hathurusingha. Sri Lanka had refused to take the field on the third morning of the St. Lucia test against West Indies last month to protest a ball-tampering charge against Chandimal.

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