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South Africa captain Dean Elgar.
World Test Championship

Elgar leads South Africa fightback


After a rocky start, South Africa finished day one of the second Test against the West Indies in a relatively secure position.

Sent out to bat, South Africa reached stumps at 218/5, with Quinton de Kock not out on 59 alongside Wiaan Mulder (2).

Rain interrupted play just three and a half overs into the first session but by that point the Proteas were already one down.

Coming off a half-century in the first Test, South Africa opener Aiden Markram perished to the Shannon Gabriel (2/47) for a duck in the second over. Having missed the first Test through injury, Gabriel stuck with just his third delivery in his return, as Markram cut into the hands of backward point.

Things got worse for South Africa after the rain delay as Jayden Seales (1/28) drew an edge to second slip from Keegan Petersen (7) in the 11th over before Rassie van der Dussen (4) left a ball onto his stumps from Kemar Roach (1/33) to leave the tourists limping at 37/3 in the 18th over and 44/3 by lunch.

If the West Indies dominated the opening session, the Proteas owned sessions two and three at St Lucia.

South Africa lost just one wicket in the afternoon session as captain Elgar raised his half-century in an 87-run stand with Kyle Verreynne (27). Verreynne’s fall on the cusp of tea, strangling a Gabriel delivery down the legside, was the lone moment of joy for the hosts in the session.

Vereynne’s dismissal brought the in-form de Kock to the crease and with his arrival, the runs started to flow.

De Kock, fresh off a ton in the first Test, raced to his fifty in just 89 deliveries, dominating a 79-run stand with Elgar.

Elgar fell for 77 to a smart bit of bowling from Kyle Mayers (1/24), who swung one delivery away from the batter before swinging the next back in to bowl him through the gate.

It was an important strike for the West Indies, with Elgar looking assured throughout his stay, but it was not enough to inspire a late flurry of wickets on the opening day.

South Africa will now be looking to press home their advantage on day two as they attempt to seize their last opportunity to collect World Test Championship points in the current cycle.

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