Cricket: Elgar century helps steady the South African ship

Dean Elgar steadied the ship after South Africa made a shaky start on day one of the first Test against New Zealand. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.

Dean Elgar notched up his seventh Test century to help restore some calm to South Africa’s innings on day one of the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin. A composed Elgar helped stabilise a shaky South African innings which, at one stage, saw the visitors stuttering at three for 22.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat and the Black Caps’ bowlers made inroads early on. Stephen Cook was out first, misjudging a swinging delivery from Trent Boult and getting caught leg-before. Hashim Amla put on a valiant showing of resistance for 18 balls, but departed with just a solitary run on the board as the bowling change of Neil Wagner brought a breakthrough for New Zealand.

JP Duminy followed in the same over, cramped for room and edging through the slips, and South Africa were reeling on 3-22.

But Elgar and Faf du Plessis then knuckled down for 40 overs, putting together 126 runs for the fourth wicket before the captain was dismissed just before tea. Having survived a leg-before decision, overturned on review, Du Plessis top edged a short ball and was caught by Boult at deep square leg.

Elgar’s seventh Test century came just after tea, with Temba Bavuma at the other end. DM

Scorecard summary: South Africa 229-4:  Faf du Plessis 52 (118), Dean Elgar 124* (256), Temba Bavuma 38* (101); Neil Wagner 20-4-59-2