Updated: Thursday, 17 July 2014 18:00 | By Agence France-Presse

Duminy half-century takes South Africa to 414-8

Jean-Paul Duminy struck an unbeaten 72 to pull South Africa to 414-8 at tea on the second day of the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Thursday.

Duminy half-century takes South Africa to 414-8

South Africa's JP Duminy pictured during the second day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on July 17, 2014 - by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi

The left-handed batsman overcame a slow start and helped steady the innings after the visitors lost three wickets since resuming at the overnight 268-5. 

Morne Morkel (nine) was the other not-out batsman at the crease when tea was taken.

The Sri Lankan bowlers toiled in hot and humid conditions until tasting their first breakthrough of the post-lunch session in the form of Vernon Philander's wicket.

Philander (27) was adjudged leg before wicket off skipper Angelo Mathews but the batsman asked for a review as he felt the ball had hit him high on the pads. However, Hawk Eye upheld the on-field umpire's call.

He faced 96 balls and shared 75 runs for the eighth wicket with Duminy who had so far hit seven fours in his 154-ball innings.

Duminy defied the bowling attack, driving Mathews through the extra-cover boundary to take South Africa past the 400-run mark.

The morning session belonged to Quinton de Kock who hit a maiden Test 50 after resuming the day at his overnight score of 17.

The rookie batsman, playing his second Test after making his debut in February, hit six fours in his promising 90-ball innings.

De Kock, who scored a match-winning 128 in the recent third and final one-dayer against Sri Lanka in Hambantota, carried his form into the match, negotiating both the pacemen and spinners with ease.

A smashing cover-drive off slow bowler Dilruwan Perera (3-147) and another through point that raced to the boundary were the highlights of his innings.

But Perera earned his revenge when he sent back De Kock with a sharp turning delivery that the batsman edged in the slips to give Mahela Jayawardene his 198th catch.

Sri Lanka did well to contain the visitors, especially since they were one bowler short with a split webbing almost ruling out pace spearhead Shaminda Eranga from the rest of the game.

Eranga had bowled just nine overs when he hurt his bowling hand while fielding on day one. The injury required eight stitches, according to the Sri Lankan media officials.

The second and final Test will be played in Colombo from July 24-28.

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