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Elgar, du Plessis make it South Africa’s day

West Indies starts well but then fluffs its lines to concede the early advantage

Elgar, du Plessis make it South Africa’s day - Cricket News
Elgar scored 121, his third Test century, his second at the venue and his highest Test score so far as South Africa ended on 270 for 2 in 88 overs.
Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis continued with their high-scoring ways at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth as they played patient innings that put South Africa in control of proceedings after the first day of its second Test against West Indies on Friday (December 26).
 
Elgar scored 121, his third Test century, his second at the venue and his highest Test score so far, while du Plessis finished the day unbeaten on 99, as South Africa ended on 270 for 2 in 88 overs.
 
Elgar and Du Plessis have both aggregated more than 300 runs in the four innings they have each played at St George’s Park.
 
Earlier, West Indies won the toss for the second match in a row and again opted to field after having added a fourth seamer in Jason Holder in place of Jermaine Blackwood. That was one of three changes West Indies made, with Shannon Gabriel and Kenroy Peters coming in for Kemar Roach, who is injured, and Sheldon Cottrell.
 
South Africa also made two changes to the side that won the first Test in Centurion by an innings and 220 runs, with Temba Bavuma, the right-hand batsman, and Imran Tahir coming in for Quinton de Kock and Kyle Abbott. Bavuma became the sixth black man – and the first since Lonwabo Tsotsobe four seasons ago – to play Test cricket for South Africa. 
 
And the new bowling unit started well for West Indies. South Africa lost Alviro Petersen, who played a rash stroke against Gabriel and was caught by Leon Johnson running back from cover. 


 
Gabriel, Peters and Holder all bowled accurately. But Gabriel and Holder were particularly effective, especially when bowling in tandem, conceding only ten runs from nine overs after Petersen’s dismissal. 
 
Things could have gotten worse for the host had the West Indies fielders given their bowlers the support they needed. Du Plessis was dropped by Marlon Samuels in the slips on 8 and again on 26, while Elgar should have been stumped on 48. Sulieman Benn, in fact, could have dismissed both of them in the same over. Instead, he had to watch Elgar clobber him back over his head for four to reach his half-century soon after the missed stumping.
 
The South Africans also offered the West Indies fielders four run out opportunities, but all of them went begging.
 
It was the sort of day on which patience was required, and Elgar and du Plessis took until the final session to come to terms with the pace of the pitch, which did not encourage attacking strokeplay. However, a run rate of around three – exactly that at the end of the day – was maintained pretty much throughout the day. In the last session, South Africa added 113 to that total from 33 overs, while losing Elgar, who was caught behind off Peters after a 330-minute vigil.
 
Du Plessis and Hashim Amla (17 not out) then took South Africa to close of play without further losses.

To review the South Africa v West Indies match in full, please click here.

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