DURBAN (AFP) - Left-arm opening bowler Chanaka Welegedera produced a career-best performance to put Sri Lanka in the ascendancy on the second day of the second Test match against South Africa at Kingsmead on Tuesday.

Welegedera took five for 52 as South Africa were bowled out for 168, giving Sri Lanka a first innings lead of 170. Sri Lanka were seven for one in their second innings at the close, with captain Dilshan falling to Steyn before bad light stopped play.

Welegedera bowled an impeccable line, slanting the ball across the right-handed batsmen, with all of his victims caught behind or in the slips. Spinner Herath took 4/49 as South Africa crashed to their lowest total against Sri Lanka.

The tourists were earlier bowled out for 338. Samaraweera made a century and Marchant de Lange took seven wickets on his debut. De Lange's figures of 7/81 were the best recorded by any bowler in Test matches in 2011. Samaraweera made 102 and became only the second Sri Lankan to hit a Test century in South Africa, joining Hashan Tillekeratne, who made 104 at Centurion in 2002-03.

Samaraweera and Herath added 46 to the overnight total of 289 for seven, with Samaraweera batting watchfully to reach his 13th Test century off 265 balls. fter Samaraweera reached his hundred, Herath top-edged a slog against De Lange and was caught by Mark Boucher for 30.

De Lange quickly wrapped up the innings, having Welegedera caught at short leg fending off a vicious bouncer before Samaraweera was caught at deep cover.

South Africa reached 22 for no wicket without Graeme Smith and Jacques Rudolph looking in any trouble before Rudolph played a loose hook against Thisara Perera and was caught at long leg by a diving Welegedera.

Welegedera then struck twice, having South African captain Smith caught behind for 15 and Jacques Kallis caught at second slip without scoring. Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers added 76 for the fourth wicket before Welegedera made another double strike, dismissing De Villiers for 25 and Amla for a fluent 54. Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir to enable South Africa to avoid the follow on. Only two South Africans have achieved better figures on debut than De Lange -- a late replacement for the injured Vernon Philander.

The best figures by a South African debutant are eight for 64 by Lance Klusener against India in Kolkata in 1996-97.

ScoreCard

SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 289-7):

T Paranavitana c Boucher b De Lange    12

T Dilshan c Morkel b Imran Tahir    47

K Sangakkara c Boucher b De Lange    0

M Jayawardene b Morkel    31

T Samaraweera c Prince b De Lange    102

A Mathews c and b De Lange    30

D Chandimal c Boucher b Morkel    58

T Perera c Amla b De Lange    12

R Herath c Boucher b De Lange    30

C Welegedara c Amla b De Lange    2

D Fernando not out    0

EXTRAS: (lb8, nb6)    14

TOTAL: (108.2 overs)    338

FOW: 1-35, 2-47, 3-84, 4-117, 5-162, 6-273, 7-289, 8-335, 9-337

BOWLING: Steyn 23-5-63-0, Morkel 21-3-61-2, De Lange 23.2-3-81-7, Imran Tahir 32-3-101-1, Kallis 9-1-24-0

SOUTH AFRICA 1ST INNINGS:

G Smith c Chandimal b Welegedera    15

J Rudolph c Welegedera b Perera    7

H Amla c Chandimal b Welegedera    54

J Kallis c Jayawardene b Welegedera    0

De Villiers c Jaywardene b Welegedera    25

A Prince c Jayawardene b Herath    11

M Boucher c Dilshan b Herath    3

D Steyn not out    29

M Morkel b Herath    0

Imran Tahir st Chandimal b Herath    11

M de Lange c Chandimal b Welegedera    9

EXTRAS: (nb3, w1)    4

TOTAL: (all out; 54.4 overs)    168

FOW: 1-22, 2-27, 3-27, 4-103, 5-106, 6-118, 7-119, 8-119, 9-145

BOWLING: Welegedera 16.4-3-52-5, Perera 9-2-27-1, Dilshan 1-1-0-0, Herath 20-7-49-4, Mathews 2-0-11-0, Fernando 6-0-29-0

SRI LANKA 2ND INNINGS:

T Paranavitana not out    0

T Dilshan c Smith b Steyn    4

K Sangakkara not out    3

EXTRAS:    0

TOTAL: (1 wkt, 2.1 overs)    7

BOWLING: Morkel 1.1-1-0-0, Steyn 1-0-7-1

TOSS: Sri Lanka