South Africa opener Dean Elgar stole the show amidst cumbersome batting conditions as he hit a remarkable ton on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Cape Town. Angelo Mathews won a great toss as he had no hesitation in opting to field first on a green pitch. His new ball bowlers responded immediately as in form opener Stephen Cook was dismissed by Suranga Lakmal right on the fourth delivery of the game.
Hashim Amla’s indifferent season continued as he went through another poor outing. Just as the wristy Amla got off to a start, he was dismissed on 29 by Lahiru Kumara. JP Duminy followed Amla soon for a duck and at 66-3, things didn’t look too bright for the hosts. Skipper Faf du Plessis and Elgar then got together for a decent stand as the duo resurrected the Proteas innings.
Like Amla though, du Plessis too couldn’t convert his start into a big score, as he was foxed by the veteran Rangana Herath. The Sri Lankan deserves a special mention for his performance as he didn’t just pick a crucial scalp, but also was pretty economical on a wicket that didn’t have anything in it for the slower bowlers.
As Elgar went about calmly gathering the runs, he lost Temba Bavuma at the other end to a short ball bowled by Lahiru Kumara. At 169-5, in walked wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock and played an absolute blinder to ensure that the hosts got in a dominating position.
Elgar soon notched up his century and considering the conditions, it had its weight in gold. The southpaw was dismissed for 129 by Lakmal as he nicked one off to the keeper. De Kock on the other end carried on his good form as he brought up yet another half-century.
By the close of the day’s play, South Africa were 297-6, with de Kock unbeaten on 68 and Kyle Abbott accompanying him on 16. The first hour on Tuesday will be extremely crucial and could well dictate the outcome of the game.