DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Kusal Perera made his second half-century of the game to give Sri Lanka an unexpected chance of winning the first test against South Africa despite Dale Steyn's two wickets in three balls on Saturday.
Sri Lanka needs 138 more runs to win with five second-innings wickets left. Perera was 56 not out and Sri Lanka 166-5 at lunch on Day 4, chasing 304 for a 1-0 lead in the short two-test series.
A Sri Lanka win against the odds, after few gave the inexperienced tourists a chance, would end South Africa's run of seven straight series wins at home dating back to 2016.
Steyn struck twice in an over when Oshada Fernando edged to Faf du Plessis in the slips and, two balls later, the fast bowler took a one-handed reflex catch to have Niroshan Dickwella caught and bowled for a duck. Those were South Africa's only successes of the morning session after Sri Lanka resumed at the start of the day on 83-3.
Perera's innings raised Sri Lankan hopes after he shared a 58-run partnership with Fernando and then an unbroken 56-run stand with Dhananjaya de Silva, who was 25 not out at lunch. Perera was out for 51 in the first innings.
South Africa's push for victory was complicated by a left hamstring injury for key bowler Vernon Philander, who didn't come out for the first session and may not feature again in the match.
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