Sri Lanka comprehensively beat the Proteas by 278-runs inside three days of their first cricket Test in Galle, to take a 1-0 lead in the two Test series.
A poor batting performance saw the Proteas bundled out for 73 in their second innings – their lowest innings total since re-admission, and the defeat their second worst to Sri Lanka.
With Sri Lanka resuming on 114 for four on day three, the Proteas struck early on with Kagiso Rabada dismissing Roshen Silva for 13.
The 23-year old Rabada took his second wicket of the session dismissing Niroshen Dickwella for nine to become the youngest batsman to reach 150 test wickets in 31 tests.
Suresh Lakmal and Angelo Matthews’ partnership yielded 22 runs before the latter was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj for 35.
Tabraiz Shamsi took Sri Lanka’s ninth wicket dismissing Rangana Herath for nought.
Dale Steyn bowled out Lakshan Sandakan to equal Shaun Pollock’s 421 test scalps wrapping up Sri Lanka for 190 before lunch.
Needing 352 runs to win, the Proteas had the worst possible start.
Opener Dean Elgar was sent back to the pavilion for four by Dilruwan Perera in the sixth over.
Perera followed that up with the wicket of Hashim Amla dismissing him for nought with Dhananjaya de Silva taking the catch.
The Proteas found themselves on 36 for six after Quinton De Kock was trapped leg before by chief destroyer, Perera.
Wickets continued to fall and the Proteas were nine down for 67 as Perera finished with career-best innings figures of 6 for 32, while Herath finished with 3 for 38.
Sandakan got the wicket of Shamsi to end the Proteas’ innings after the not out decision was overturned following a review.
The second and final test will start in Colombo on Friday.