Elgar, Du Plessis punish West Indies
Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis punished the West Indies for fielding lapses as South Africa built a strong position on the first day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth, on Friday. South Africa were 270 for two at the close after being sent in to bat in overcast conditions at St George’s Park.
Elgar made a Test-best 121 and shared a second wicket partnership of 179 with Du Plessis, who finished the day on 99 not out.
The West Indies missed four chances to break the Elgar-Du Plessis stand. The West Indian bowlers could feel aggrieved as they bowled with much better control and discipline than they did in Centurion where they were heavily beaten by an innings and 220 runs in the first Test. Du Plessis was put down by Marlon Samuels at gully off Jerome Taylor when he had eight and again by Devon Smith diving to his right off left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn when he had 26.
One ball after Du Plessis’ second escape, the left-handed Elgar went down the wicket to Benn and was well out of his ground as the ball squeezed through to hit low on the pad of captain and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. Elgar was on 48 and to add insult to the disappointed bowler he went down the wicket again and lofted Benn to the straight boundary to raise his fifty.
Elgar could have been run out on 73. After a mix-up with Du Plessis, he was several metres short of safety when Kenroy Peters’ throw from midwicket missed the stumps at the bowler?s end. West Indian troubles did not end with the missed chances. Benn left the field after falling heavily while trying to stop an Elgar drive.
Holder was prevented from bowling in Benn’s place in the next over because he had not been on the field long enough after being treated for a hand injury. Instead Taylor had to fill in at a time when he would have expected to be resting up ahead of taking the second new ball. The left-handed Elgar made his third Test century, and his second at St George’s Park where he has scored 323 runs in three Tests at 107.66 compared to 362 runs at 22.62 in 11 Tests at other venues.
Briefscores South Africa 260/2 (Elgar 121, du Plessis 99*) v West Indies.