Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara plays a shot during the fourth day of the first test cricket match against South Africa.Reuters

An unbeaten half-century from Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka to fightback on the fourth day of the first Test match against South Africa at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.

The Lankan Lions were 110 for one at stumps in chase of 370, with Sangakkara (58 not out) and Kaushal Silva (37 not out) at the crease. They further require 260 runs to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand.

No team has chased a target of above 300 runs at Galle, but both Silva and Sangakkara put the target in reach with three sessions to go.

"It is a challenging total," Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu said. "A team hasn't gone pass 300 in the fourth innings at this venue, but we've got a team inside the dressing room who're willing to fight, that I can guarantee you."

"We're aiming to get the amount of runs but we'll fight to get through the first session tomorrow and see where we'll be placed," he added.

Earlier in the day, Proteas new skipper Hashim Amla declared the innings on 206 for six at tea and gave a challenging target to the hosts.

Amla (22), however, failed with the bat as he was dismissed by Dilruwan Perera, while AB de Villiers made a 58-ball 51 and forged a 62 runs partnership with Quinton de Kock (36).

Perera (79 for four) was the pick of the bowlers for the Islanders, while Rangana Herath took two wickets. Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews only used three bowlers, including Suranga Lakmal, as the visitors batted for just over 50 overs in the second innings.

"It's all in the mind and how you think and the confidence levels," Atapattu said. "In a situation when you have the whole day to get the runs - don't get me wrong, it's not easy or guaranteed with the attack they have - but there is a chance. It's a bold declaration from Amla, encouraging us to go for our shots."

Dale Steyn, who finished with a fifer in the first innings, was again on song and provided early breakthrough to the touring party. Upul Tharanga (14) edged one to the wicketkeeper de Kock, while driving Steyn outside the off stump.

Steyn troubled Sangakkara early on in the innings but the southpaw soon got his eyes on the wicket and struck his 49th Test fifty. He did edge one off leg-spinner Imran Tahir but the ball went past de Kock.

"Their bowlers might have a few more chances from our batsmen, going for shots," Lanka coach said. "After the first innings when South Africa got to 255 on the first day, for the game to be poised at this position, is a credit to both teams and how they've played."

"It could be anybody from that attack tomorrow that poses a major threat," he added. "They're all quality bowlers. For a leg-spinner, I believe that he (Tahir) can come into the game at any time on a track like that, when somebody has the variety that he has. We will play with respect and look to put the bad ball away."

Where to Watch Live

The fifth day of the first Test is scheduled for 10:00 am local (10:00 am IST, 4:30 am GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India. Catch ball-by-ball update of the match online HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Ten Sports in Sri Lanka, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE.

Viewers in the US can watch the game Live on Willow TV while the match can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport and live online HERE.