Cricket: Amla leads South Africa fightback on day two

COLOMBO, July 25, 2014 (AFP) – Hashim Amla faced a stern test of character in his first series as captain after South Africa lost three key wickets against a determined Sri Lankan bowling attack in the second Test Friday. Morne Morkel’s short balls were hit for two fours on the trot by Dickwella, the batsman arching back slightly and ramping the second one high over the slip cordon.

The attritional first hour saw Morkel lose his cool and push away Dickwella as he was trying to take a run but the bowler apologised immediately.

Unruffled, Dickwella went on to complete his debut Test fifty with three runs off a full toss from Morkel that he nudged it to the mid-on region.

South Africa lead the two-Test series 1-0 after winning the first match in Galle by 153 runs. Amla, 31, dug in with a painstaking 46 off 134 balls as South Africa trailed the hosts by 323 runs with seven wickets in hand on the second day of the Test at the SSC ground in Colombo.

At stumps, South Africa were 98-3 with AB de Villiers (11) being the other not out batsman at the crease.

Amla is leading the South African team for the first time in this two-Test series after being named captain last month following the retirement of Graem