PORT ELIZABETH Dec 27 Sri Lanka suffered a top order collapse and slumped to 37 for three at second day's lunch after Suranga Lakmal claimed career-best figures to help dismiss South Africa for 286 in the first test at St George's Park on Tuesday.
Lakmal, who took four wickets on the opening day on Monday, completed a first test five-wicket haul and finished with 5-63 as South Africa were dismissed inside the first hour of the session.
The home side added just 19 runs to their overnight total, losing four wickets cheaply in under nine overs at the start of a sunny day.
South Africa then made quick inroads through pace duo of Kyle Abbott and Vernon Philander to wrestle back control of the contest.
Seven wickets fell in the bowler-dominated first session on a wicket expected to assist the bowlers throughout the day.
Dimuth Karunaratne was the first Sri Lankan dismissed, getting an inside edge to Abbott and playing onto his stumps to depart for five.
Kusal Perera went next for seven, caught behind by Quinton de Kock off Philander and Kusal Mendis followed soon after without scoring as the wicketkeeper took another diving catch, this time off Abbott's bowling.
Kaushal Silva (12 not out) and captain Angelo Matthews (5 not out) will resume after lunch with Sri Lanka still 241 runs behind.
South Africa had been hoping de Kock and Philander would add significant runs to their overnight total of 267-6 but Philander went in the fifth over of the day, tempted into a hook by a short ball from Nuwan Pradeep and being caught at deep square leg.
He was out for 13 and was followed quickly back to the pavilion by Keshav Maharaj and Abbott, who both faced only three balls and failed to score. Maharaj was caught behind by wicket Dinesh Chandimal off Lakmal while Abbott was run out.
De Kock was the last South African wicket to fall, out for 37 as he was superbly yorked by Pradeep. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)