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Cricket – Sri Lanka win toss and bat against South Africa

(Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal won the toss and decided to bat in the opening test of the two-match series against South Africa in Galle on Thursday.

Cricket – Sri Lanka v South Africa First Test Match – Galle, Sri Lanka July 12, 2018 Ð South African cricket captain Faf du Plessis (R) talks to his teammate Hashim Amla. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The hosts’ regular captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded guilty to a disciplinary breach during the side’s second test against West Indies last month and has opted to sit out of the series.

The International Cricket Council is due to announce a verdict in the case soon.

Lakmal was the only paceman in the Sri Lankan side who went with the spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan.

Cricket – Sri Lanka v South Africa First Test Match – Galle, Sri Lanka July 12, 2018 Ð South African Vernon Philander appeals for an unsuccessful LBW wicket for Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne (not pictured). REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Experienced batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was back to open the batting for the hosts after the left-hander missed the West Indies tour due to injury.

Dale Steyn returned to the South African team from injury, having last played a test in January.

The touring side included two spinners in their side in left-armers Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.

Teams

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal (captain), Lakshan Sandakan

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Greg Stutchbury


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