An unbeaten century from Dean Elgar rescued South Africa from a grim start to take the honors on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand yesterday.
It was the opener’s seventh Test century and one of the most important in a patient innings after South Africa were in early trouble at 22-3 in Dunedin. By stumps they were 229-4 with Elgar unbeaten on 128 and Temba Bavuma on 38 not out.
Elgar set the tone for the revival with a 126-run stand for the fourth wicket with captain Faf du Plessis and followed with an unbroken 81 for the fifth wicket with Bavuma.
Although the pitch offered little support for the bowlers, for the batsmen it was a constant struggle to score with 30 maidens among the 90 overs bowled.
Elgar left when he could, blocked when he needed to and punished anything loose with 20 boundaries in his century. He offered a rare chance on 36, when he was dropped down the leg side by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling, and on 42 escaped a possible run-out when Neil Wagner failed to field the ball cleanly.
On a day of wavering fortunes, there was nothing normal about the start of the Test where even the brown-green wicket was not the customary emerald-top expected in New Zealand.
When Du Plessis won the toss he became the first captain in 23 Tests to bat first.
New Zealand dropped regular bowling spearhead Tim Southee for the first time in five years to make way for Jeetan Patel.
It was the first time in seven years they had fielded two spinners on a home wicket. The miserly Patel was brought into the attack in the sixth over and conceded only eight runs in his first 10 overs with South Africa restricted to 63-3 in the first session.
S LANKA, BANGLADESH
AFP, GALLE, Sri Lanka
Bangladesh made a solid start to their reply to Sri Lanka’s 494 all out in the first Test at the Galle International Stadium yesterday, but lost two late wickets.
Kusal Mendis top-scored for the hosts with 194, while Bangladesh spinner Mehedi Hasan picked up 4-113 in the first innings.
Bangladesh moved to 133-2 at stumps on the second day. Tamim Iqbal was the first out, run out for 57. Soumya Sarkar was unbeaten on 66 alongside Mushfiqur Rahim on 1 not out.
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