• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Elgar falls short on 95 as SA fight back

  • Published at 12:30 am December 28th, 2020
Elgar
South Africa's Dean Elgar plays a shot during day two of their Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka in Centurion Sunday AFP

Elgar looked set for his 13th Test ton until he offered seamer Shanaka a caught-and-bowled chance that was superbly taken

Opener Dean Elgar fell five runs short of a century as South Africa climbed to 317 for four at the close of play on day two of the first Test against injury-hit Sri Lanka at Centurion Park Sunday.

Elgar looked set for his 13th Test ton until he offered Sri Lanka seamer Dasun Shanaka a sharp caught-and-bowled chance that was superbly taken.

Faf du Plessis (55 not out) and Temba Bavuma (41 not out) will resume on the third morning after adding 97 runs, hoping to push South Africa past the visitor’s first innings score of 396 after two free-scoring days that have produced 713 runs at a rollicking rate of 4.24 runs per over.

That would suggest a batting paradise, but the wicket has given assistance to the bowlers, with both sides perhaps guilty of erring in line and length and not taking advantage of the pace and uneven bounce.

Sri Lanka had already lost all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva for the remainder of the Test series after he injured a thigh and retired hurt on 79 on the first day, and they were further hampered when seamer Kasun Rajitha limped off after bowling 2.1 overs in South Africa’s innings.

He is scheduled to have a scan Sunday and his participation in the rest of the Test is yet to be determined, leaving the tourist without a top-six batsman and two of their bowlers.

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South Africa profited as they raced to 141 in the 29th over, with Aiden Markram (68) and Elgar taking the attack to the bowlers.

But when Markram picked out Shanaka in the gully trying to play a booming drive off seamer Vishwa Fernando (1/59), the momentum was halted.

A mini-collapse with the score on 200 saw them lose three more wickets for the addition of only another 20 runs, with Rassie van der Dussen (15) and dangerman Quinton de Kock (18) falling cheaply.

But Du Plessis and Bavuma steadied the ship and handed the initiative back to the home side.

Sri Lanka had earlier resumed their first innings on effectively 340 for seven following De Silva’s injury, with Shanaka’s superb career-best unbeaten 66 seeing them add 56 runs in 11 overs before he ran out of partners.

Debutant South Africa seamer Lutho Sipamla (4/76) claimed the remaining three wickets.

The second and final Test will be played in Johannesburg from Jan. 3.


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