Sri Lanka v South Africa: Day One
Mahela Jayawardene's unbeaten century helped Sri Lanka recover from a shaky start to finish 305 for five on day one of the second and final Test against South Africa.
- Related Content
Jayawardene, who will retire from Test cricket next month, had hit 140 in 225 balls by the close of play in Colombo, including 16 fours and one six. It was the 34th Test century of his career.
The superb innings was much-needed as Sri Lanka fell to 16 for two early on before Jayawardene stabilised the innings alongside first Kaushal Silva (44) and then Angelo Mathews (63).
South Africa need only a draw to clinch the series, having won the first Test at Galle.
Earlier in the day, Mathews had won the toss and elected to bat but Dale Steyn (two for 55) did his best to make that decision look foolish as he removed both Upul Tharanga (11) and Kumar Sangakkara in successive balls.
Two short deliveries did for the duo as Tharanga gloved the ball behind before Sangakkara edged to Imran Tahir - both in the fifth over.
Silva almost followed his team-mates back to the pavilion soon after but his nick was dropped by Alviro Petersen.
Jayawardene gradually imposed calm on proceedings, building a valuable 99-run partnership with Silva, who was eventually caught in the slips off JP Duminy (two for 58) shortly before lunch.
Sri Lanka had moved the score on to 115 by that stage and with Mathews settling into the game, Jayawardene passed his century, sweeping Dean Elgar's full toss in the last over before tea.
The experienced pair added 131 runs to the total before Mathews was caught behind trying to cut the ball off Duminy.
South Africa edged back into the contest late on as Morne Morkel (one for 42) lured Kithuruwan Vithanage into an edge which was caught by AB de Villiers.
As Jaywardene approached 150, Niroshan Dickwella added 12 on his Test debut before the close of play to leave the contest firmly in the balance.