El­gar res­cues South Africa

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

AFP PIC

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.

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