Proteas batter West Indies

2014-12-27 09:22

Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis put on a record 179-run second wicket partnership at St George’s Park to help South Africa reach 270 for two at stumps on day one of the Boxing Day Test in Port Elizabeth.

The pair yesterday occupied the crease for 378 balls with 24 fours and one six to notch up the highest second wicket stand at the ground, as the West Indies were battered by the Proteas batsmen.

Elgar, in scoring his third Test century, was out for his highest ever score in the format with his knock of 121 from 329 balls, striking 18 fours.

The left-handed opener was eventually out playing a cover drive, as he edged through to wicketkeeper captain Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of debutant Kenroy Peters, as the Proteas lost their second wicket with the score on 226.

Du Plessis ended the day unbeaten one short of a fourth Test century, with captain Hashim Amla not out at the other end on 17.

Before tea, South Africa were given four chances by the visitors. Du Plessis was given his first reprieve with his score on eight.

He hit a Jerome Taylor delivery straight to Marlon Samuels at gully, but the West Indian inexplicably dropped a regulation catch.

The Proteas number three was given a second life when he was on 26. Du Plessis came down the track to spinner Sulieman Benn, edged the ball to first slip but Devon Smith could not hold on to it.

The very next delivery – two runs short of his half-century – Elgar danced down the wicket, missed the ball from Benn but Ramdin could not gather it and the batsman scrambled back to safety.

Elgar, on 73, hit the ball straight to Peters at mid-wicket, set off for a run and would have been relieved to see the fielder’s attempt miss the stumps as he was several metres short of his ground.

In morning play, Alviro Petersen (17) was the only South African batsman to depart.

The Proteas openers eased to 47 off 73 balls, before Petersen threw his wicket away with a poor shot to an equally dire delivery.

Petersen attempted to swat an extremely short ball from Shannon Gabriel to behind the slip cordon for four, but only succeeded in providing a simple looping catch to Johnson in the covers.

Petersen’s dismissal extended his run to 25 innings without a Test century.

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