South Africa steady after Elgar, du Plessis partnership
PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa were at 214/5 at stumps on the first day of the second test here at St. George’s Park at Port Elizabeth on Thursday thanks to a 112 run partnership by Dean Elgar and Faf Du Plessis, ARY News reports.
Faf Du Plessis and Dean Elgar provided the foundation of the Proteas’ innings. However, Elgar and Quinton de Kock wasted their wickets as they tried to clear the infield. Elgar played for nearly five hours and 193 balls, but was caught by Ryan Harris off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. Test debutant Quinton de Kock became a victim to Steve Smith.
AB de Villiers, the only batsman to counter Australia in the first Test, stood not out at 51 as he made a world record of 12 consecutive Tests with a half century to his name as well.
South Africa have extended their batting department for the second test – Dean Elgar made a comeback into the team whereas Alviro Peterson was replaced by de Kock after he became ill.
The changes did not help the Proteas from getting a good start as Graeme Smith was back in the pavilion as he tried to go after the in-swinging delivery by Harris on a cloudy morning.
Left arm pacer Mitchell Johnson continued his rampant form in test matches. He took advantage of the conditions and pitched the ball in the correct areas. Amla was beaten by an in-swinger but was trapped in front couple of balls later as the ball was bowled quite straighter.
However, Elgar was not troubled by the things progressing in the session. He hit his first boundary of the innings after he sent the ball to the crowd for a six and also played a straight drive for four several deliveries later. He also showed character on the field as he took the bowlers head on and played quite exquisite strokes.
Du Plessis played his role in the innings and contributed to the partnership with Elgar. His used his feet in the innings and also lofted Lyon for a six at mid wicket region.
The right hand batsman reached his half century in 117 balls but was caught by Steve Smith from the bowling from Nathan Lyon.
Australian Captain Michael Clarke made full use of Lyon as he was taking wickets and keeping the run rate down. Steve Smith got de Kock as he came down the track to heave the ball for a boundary.
De Villiers got to his 50 from 124 balls. He played a wonderful pull shot from a half tracker bowled from Steve Smith. The game was stopped after umpires called bad light.