Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne struck a defiant unbeaten hundred to give the hosts a fighting first-innings total on day one of the opening Test against South Africa, in Galle.
Karunaratne carried his bat to remain unbeaten on 158 from 222 balls as Sri Lanka finished on 287 after stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal won the toss and chose to bat in the first game of the two-Test series.
South Africa then lost opener Aiden Markram (0) to veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to reach 4-1 at stumps.
Sri Lanka's regular captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded guilty to a disciplinary breach during the side's second Test against Windies last month and has opted to sit out the South Africa series - the ICC is due to announce a verdict in the case soon.
On a turning surface at Galle, fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (4-50) did the most damage for the touring side, while left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, playing only his second Test, returned figures of 3-91.
Karunaratne, who missed the Windies tour due to injury, stitched together stands of 48 and 63 with Lakmal and Lakshan Sandakan respectively for the final two wickets after Sri Lanka tumbled from 115-2 to 176-8.
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