A century stand from Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis led South Africa to 145 for three at tea on the opening day of the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park yesterday.
Elgar, who took 42 minutes to get off the mark at the start, was unbeaten on 61 at the interval, with A.B. de Villiers 13 not out.
Opener Elgar and Du Plessis (55) dug South Africa out of early trouble as the side teetered on 11 for two. The pair added 112 for the third wicket before the latter was caught at short leg off the bowling of spinner Nathan Lyon.
The pitch does not have the pace and bounce of Pretoria, where Mitchell Johnson ripped through the South African order to finish with 12 wickets as the tourists recorded a crushing 281-run win in the first Test.
Johnson still managed to land some early body blows in Port Elizabeth, but the Australian pace attack has generally bowled a fuller length, hoping to utilize the swing on offer under overcast conditions.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, captain Graeme Smith (nine) was struck on the back leg by Ryan Harris with the total on 10 and the umpire had no hesitation in giving him out LBW.
In the next over, and with one run added, Johnson breached the defense of Hashim Amla, who was also trapped LBW for a duck.
The home team made three changes to their team, handing a debut to 21-year-old Quinton de Kock, who will bat at No. 7 in place of all-rounder Ryan McLaren.
Elgar returned after Alviro Petersen was ruled out through illness and Wayne Parnell was brought in for spinner Robin Peterson, as South Africa opted for a four-pronged pace attack.
IRELAND VS WINDIES
Ireland added to their list of giant-killing victories with a six-wicket win over World Twenty20 champions the West Indies in the first T20 international at Jamaica’s Sabina Park on Wednesday.
It was at the Kingston venue where Ireland dramatically defeated Pakistan in a St Patrick’s Day 50-over World Cup match back in 2007.
And seven years on from that success, Ireland — the leading non-Test cricket nation — upset one of the sport’s “big boys” once again, with former England batsman Ed Joyce making a decisive 40 not out.
After the West Indies won the toss and batted, a good all-round Ireland effort in the field saw the hosts restricted to 116 for eight in their 20 overs.
West Indies and Ireland meet again over 20 overs at Sabina Park today, before contesting a one-off one-day international at the same ground on Sunday.
Next month sees the West Indies defend their global title at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.