Steyn races to Test milestone as South Africa seize control


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The Independent Online

Dale Steyn became the second-quickest bowler to 250 Test wickets as South Africa assumed control after just one day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

Steyn reached the milestone, in his 49th Test, in the fifth over of the day when Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan attempted an awful slog. It set the tone for a poor batting display from the tourists as they were bundled out for 180 just before tea with Steyn and Vernon Philander – who has agreed to play country cricket for Somerset for the first two months of next season – sharing nine wickets on a green wicket.

Philander just about overshadowed his new-ball partner's milestone as he claimed his third five-wicket haul, in just his third Test, in returning figures of 5 for 53. Philander also claimed the key scalp of Kumar Sangakkara for just one, when he induced one of his four edges behind the wicket.

Steyn, who reached the 250-wicket mark having played one more Test than former Australia quick Dennis Lillee, claimed 4 for 18 and will be on a hat-trick in the second innings after wrapping up another Sri Lankan lower-order collapse.

South Africa then confirmed their dominance in reaching stumps on 90 for 1, with captain Graeme Smith (61) falling lbw to Dilhara Fernando in the penultimate over before the close.