DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Captain Faf du Plessis was 72 not out to help push South Africa's lead toward 300 against Sri Lanka on the third day of the first test on Friday.
Du Plessis returned from a one-test suspension for over-rate offenses to put his team in a winning position in the series opener against an inexperienced Sri Lanka lineup.
South Africa was 227-5 in its second innings at lunch and led by 271 on a pitch where runs have been hard to come by and a total over 300 will be difficult for Sri Lanka to chase.
Du Plessis, banned for the final test against Pakistan last month, and Quinton de Kock put on 96 for the fifth wicket to take South Africa out of danger when it was 95-4 late on day two.
De Kock was out for 55 to give left-arm spinner Lasith Ambuldeniya his third wicket of the innings and fourth of the match on his test debut.
Ambuldeniya is one of two Sri Lankans on debut at Kingsmead. The tourists also have a new captain in Dimuth Karunaratne.
Sri Lanka has lost its last three series while South Africa's 3-0 sweep against Pakistan was its seventh straight series win at home.
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