Dean Elgar holds South Africa together against Sri Lanka

Jan 03, 2017, 02:31

Stephen Cook, man of the match in South Africa's 206-run win in the first Test in Port Elizabeth, was out to the fourth ball of the match before a run had been scored. Elgar's ton was especially well received by a woken-up crowd who were witness to more runs in the third session than in the first two combined.

De Kock was scoring at nearly a run a ball and Elgar whipped off his helmet to soak up the applause after scoring his 12th boundary to start 2017 in style.

That the Proteas were in a position to take advantage of the improving conditions was exclusively down to Elgar, who negotiated the first session with aplomb. All of a sudden, South Africa were 66 for 3 and in all sorts of trouble. While Sri Lanka can redeem themselves with some early wickets tomorrow, all eyes will be on how they fare against the Protea seamers later on in the day. As a result, he was largely untroubled in spite of the hard conditions.

Elgar and De Kock shared a 103-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Kumara's pace and bounce then earned him the wicket of JP Duminy five deliveries later for a duck, the left-hander gloving a lifter down the leg side and Mendis diving full length and clutching the ball in the webbing of his glove for a spectacular catch.

Those suspicions were confirmed when Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and put the South Africans in.

Elgar stood firm, bringing up his half-century with a boundary through the slips, and added 76 for the fourth wicket with skipper Faf du Plessis, who was dropped by Tharanga at mid-off but failed to cash in as he was sent on his way by Rangana Herath for 38.

Temba Bavuma could add only 10 runs before he became Kumara's third victim of the day.

It was, though, a blessing in disguise due to Quinton de Kock alleviating all the pressure on the centurion with a trademark blitz towards the end of the day.

When Mathews took the second new ball with Nuwan Pradeep off the field nursing an injury, it looked an ill-advised decision.

Elgar's solid 230-ball innings, which included 15 fours, finished in the 85th over of the day, when Lakmal had him caught behind. The wicketkeeper-batsman ended the day unbeaten on 68, leaving South Africa well poised for a strong total.

Lakmal finally ended Elgar's long stay at the crease when the opener edged behind, but De Kock was still there along with Kyle Abbott at the close.

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