Elgar rescues South Africa
An unbeaten hundred from Dean Elgar rescued South Africa from a grim start to take the honours on day one 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 for three in Dunedin.
By stumps they were 229 for four with Elgar on 128, and Temba Bavuma on 38.
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 which took 197 balls to compile.
He offered a rare chance on 36, when he was dropped down the legside by wicketkeeper BJ Watling, and on 42 escaped a possible run-out when Neil Wagner failed to field the ball cleanly.
New Zealand had nine overs with the new ball before stumps and conceded 18 runs without threatening the batsmen.
South Africa’s Dean Elgar (right) bats while New Zealand’s BJ Watling reacts on the first day of their first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday.