The islanders were bowled out for just 191 runs in their first innings, handing the Proteas a vital 44-run lead in the Durban Test.
Steyn picked up 4-48 from his 20 overs to take his overall Test tally to 437 scalps. The veteran South African pacer has now moved past former India skipper Kapil Dev’s haul of 434 wickets and is currently tied with Stuart Broad in seventh spot in the all-time leading wicket-takers’ list in Test cricket.
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada chipped in with two wickets each on Thursday as the visitors found the going tough on a seaming pitch at Durban. Only Kusal Perera was able to muster some form of resistance for Sri Lanka with a fighting half-century.
Having started the day at 49-1, Sri Lanka were given two early jolts with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando falling to Philander and Steyn respectively.
Wickets then kept falling at regular intervals for the tourists before Perera’s half-century took them past the 150-run mark.
South Africa were then reduced to 126-4 in their second innings with debutant Lasith Embuldeniya picking up two wickets. The Sri Lankan left-armed spinner accounted for Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar in the final session of the day as South Africa extended their overall lead to 170.
Earlier on day one, the hosts had been bowled out for 235 runs in the first innings with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock registering a counter-attacking 80.
South Africa first innings: 235 all out
Sri Lanka first innings: 191 all out
Kusal Perera: 51 (63)
Dale Steyn: 4-48
South Africa second innings: 126-4
Dean Elgar: 35 (70)
Lasith Embuldeniya: 2-36
Hazlewood had sustained a stress fracture in his lower back while bowling for Australia in the fourth and final Test against India at Melbourne earlier this year and is due to undergo a follow-up scan on Friday.
The bowler had already been sidelined for six months last year for a similar injury in the same area. The Aussie remains unsure of his return to the cricket field but is optimistic about his chances of being fit in time for the World Cup and subsequent Ashes series.
“I think we’ll know a lot more after tomorrow, to be honest. Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll start working through it,” he told cricket.com.au.
“Hopefully it’s going along to plan. Everything feels fine so training’s coming along nicely, progressing every week. I think we’ll just work back from the World Cup really and make sure everything’s right for that, which gives me plenty of time.”
The 28-year-old had already been ruled out of Australia’s upcoming limited-overs tour of India and will now also miss the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE to be held towards the end of March.
The five-time World Cup winners will play three practise games against New Zealand before heading to England for the World Cup and Hazlewood is targeting a return in those clashes.
“I haven’t played too much ODI cricket in the last 12 to 18 months which is a bit frustrating, a bit of a shame,” said Hazlewood.
“We’ve got three games in Brisbane in May against New Zealand and then three in England once we get over there.
“That’s quite enough to be ready I think, so I’ll be happy with where I’m at.”
Australia open their 2019 World Cup campaign with a clash against Afghanistan at Bristol on June 1.
Watson and Quetta open their PSL campaign on Friday at Dubai with a clash against 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi.
Speaking to Geo News ahead of the tournament opener, Watson lauded the quality of the league and hoped to contribute to Quetta’s cause in their bid to secure their maiden PSL title.
“I am looking forward to it (PSL). It is an awesome tournament and it is going to be another exciting year for Quetta and hopefully we can have another good season,” the Australian all-rounder stated.
“There is no doubt about the quality of players in PSL. Pakistan has some of the best spin bowlers and leggies.
“PSL has got some world class batsman from Pakistan and abroad.”
Watson was the leading run-scorer for Quetta Gladiators in the last edition where he aggregated 319 runs in 10 innings at an average of over 35 and a strike-rate of 135.16.
The 37-year-old struck two half-centuries in the third edition of the PSL including a 58-ball 90.
The Gladiators will be led by skipper Sarfraz Ahmed once again but they will have to make do without Watson’s services for the Pakistan leg of the tournament.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be visiting Pakistan this time around as I have a couple of things lined up,” said Watson.