Dean Elgar holds South Africa together against Sri Lanka
Sixth Test century for 29-year-old prompts Proteas recovery on first day of second Test
South African batsman Dean Elgar celebrates after scoring a century during the second Test between against Sri Lanka in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Gianluigi Guerciagian/AFP/Getty Images
Dean Elgar’s sixth Test century helped South Africa in to a position of strength on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Cape Town.
On a green seamer-friendly Newlands pitch, South Africa – 1-0 up in the three-match series – recovered from 66 for three after Sri Lanka had won the toss to reach 297 for six at the close.
Elgar’s 129 from 230 balls, his first hundred at Newlands, held the Proteas innings together after fellow opener Stephen Cook (0) edged the fourth ball of the day and Hashim Amla (29) and JP Duminy (0) fell to Lahiru Kumara close to the lunch interval.
Faf du Plessis appeared well set on 38, but the South Africa captain’s two-hour stay ended when he attempted to drive the left-arm spin of Rangana Herath and Angelo Mathews held the chance at slip.
When Temba Bavuma (10) became Kumara’s third victim, pulling a ball of steepling bounce to Upul Tharanga at backward square, South Africa were 169 for five and still in some difficulty.
But Elgar and Quinton de Kock put on 103 for the sixth wicket before Suranga Lakmal finally ended the left-hander’s resistance with the second new ball, finding an outside edge to give wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis his third catch.
De Kock (68 not out) and night-watchman Kyle Abbott (16 not out), however, avoided any further problems in the final hour.