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South Africa leads by 78 after Sri Lanka out for 154

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada led South Africa's recovery with 4-38 as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 154 early on the second day of the second test on Friday.

Test cricket's top-ranked bowler was helped by fellow quick Duanne Olivier, who returned 3-61, to give South Africa a 68-run first-innings lead in its quest to save the series.

The advantage was extended to 78 by lunch, but the Proteas lost a wicket and were 10-1 in their second innings with Dean Elgar out for 2.

SRI Lanka's Kasun Rajitha plays a shot , during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

Against expectations, Sri Lanka leads the short two-test series 1-0 and had early control of this decisive match by bowling South Africa out for 222.

But Sri Lanka's batsmen also failed at St. George's Park, with wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella the top scorer with 42.

Wickets were tumbling in Port Elizabeth — 13 fell on the first day and seven more in the first session on Friday, when Sri Lanka continued on 60-3 overnight but folded in just 17.4 overs.

Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella plays a shot , during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

Sri Lanka has also been hampered by the absence of left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, who injured his left thumb attempting a caught and bowled on day one and wasn't able to bat, and probably won't do any more bowling.

Embuldeniya sat watching from the stadium seats on Friday morning with that left thumb bandaged and his hand in a sling, and he is unlikely to take any further part on the test.

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Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella plays a shot , during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

South Africa celebrate after taking a Sri Lankan wicket, during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

South Africa celebrate after taking a Sri Lankan wicket , during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

South Africa's Duanne Olivier bowls during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)

Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera plays a shot , during their second day of the second cricket test at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa between South Africa and Sri Lanka Friday Feb. 22, 2019. (AP PhotoMichael Sheehan)