GALLE, Sri Lanka - South Africa have moved a step closer to knocking off Australia as the No.1-ranked Test team after the Proteas thrashed Sri Lanka.
Dale Steyn grabbed a match haul of 9-99 as South Africa won the first Test by 153 runs on the fifth and final day in Galle on Sunday.
South Africa, currently the world No.2, can reclaim the top world ranking from Australia if they win the second and final Test in Colombo from July 24-28.
Steyn's figures, the best by a quick at the Galle ground, helped the visitors bowl Sri Lanka out twice despite a wicket which offered little help.
It was only South Africa's third win on the island and their first since 2000.
Steyn was well supported by seamer Morne Morkel, who picked up four wickets as Sri Lanka's second innings ended on 216 shortly into the second session.
The hosts needed to make another 260 runs on the final day with nine wickets in hand to pull off a come-from-behind win. But they lost their remaining wickets for just 106 to go down tamely.
South Africa made 9(dec)-455 in their first innings before bowling out the home side for 292. In their second knock, South Africa declared at 6-206 to set Sri Lanka a target of 370.
The victory was especially sweet for Hashim Amla, who was leading the side for the first time in Test cricket.