Centurion: Predicting Test cricket in recent weeks has been a fool's game, but the opening day at Centurion went largely according to expectations as Sri Lanka struggled to handle the home side's bowling attack on a helpful pitch. Vernon Philander continued his prolific emergence with his third five-wicket haul in three matches - making him just the fifth bowler to achieve the feat - as Sri Lanka crumbled to 180. Although Graeme Smith fell moments before the close it was emphatically South Africa's day and they are on course for a handsome lead.
As they had against Australia, Philander and Dale Steyn combined to do much of the damage with nine wickets between them which ensured a poor day for Morne Morkel didn't seriously cost the home side. After being inserted on a green pitch there were low expectations for Sri Lanka so three down at lunch represented a decent morning's work and then during the afternoon 156 for 4 was the basis for a competitive total. However, Sri Lanka have dealt in some serious collapses this year and here they registered a demise of 6 for 24 in five overs with Philander and Steyn both claiming two wickets in two balls.