Duminy’s ton helps Proteas breach 400

2014-07-18 00:00

JP DUMINY’S unbeaten century, his fourth in Tests, has set up a crucial third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka today. Batting at number seven, Duminy stroked an unbeaten 100, enabling Hashim Amla to declare the innings on 455/9.

It was mission accomplished for the Proteas who were looking to get beyond 400 after finishing day one on 268-5. Duminy shared key partnerships of 75 for the eighth wicket with Vernon Philander (27) and 66 with Morné Morkel (22)for the ninth as 187 runs were added.

But the hard work lies ahead today as the bowlers have to let the ball do the talking on a pitch not offering much assistance. The hosts finished on 30 without loss and a long, testing day lies ahead.

This is acknowledged by Duminy. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work. For the seamers, the wicket is quite flat, but the spinners should be able to get something from it,” he said. “Today will be crucial for us to set up a position from where we can hopefully speed things up in the final two days and push for a win.”

But, Duminy acknowledged it was hard graft out in the middle. “The spinners were the biggest challenge,” he said. “I tried to marshal the partnerships with Vernon and Morne, especially the latter. Vernon and I as provincial team-mates have played together for a while so my time with Morne was vital. He applied himself magnificently.”

Some may think Duminy is wasted at number seven, but he proved his worth, calling on his experience and guiding the lower order toward a decent total. “It’s great to get three figures in these conditions,” he said. “My role in the side is more pronounced now. Batting at seven and marshalling the lower order has ­always been key and with a decent total, it’s now a matter of doing the business with the ball.”

Duminy’s century was his first against Sri Lanka and his highest score against a sub-continent team. His previous best of 57 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year was easily surpassed. Earlier, Quinton de Kock, in his second Test, reached his highest score and maiden Test half century in making 51. His role should not be underestimated as he was undefeated on 17 overnight and steadied the innings, creating the foundation for a healthy score. He displayed great maturity and looked genuinely upset at getting out.

It was interesting to note that all four batsmen passing 50 — Dean Elgar, De Kock, Duminy and Faf du Plessis — were playing in their first Test against Sri Lanka.

SCOREBOARD

SA 1st innings (overnight 268-5)

A. Petersen lbw b Perera34

D. Elgar c Chandimal b Lakmal103

F. du Plessis c Silva b Perera80

H. Amla c Perera b Herath11

AB de Villiers b Lakmal21

Q de Kock c Jayawardene b Perera51

D. Steyn b Lakmal3

JP Duminy not out100

V. Philander lbw b Mathews27

M. Morkel b Perera22

Extras: (lb2, nb1)3

TOTAL: (for 9 wkts decl; 166.2 overs)455

Fall of wickets: 1-70 (Petersen), 2-195 (Elgar), 3-220 (Amla), 4-246 (du Plessis), 5-266 (de Villiers), 6-290 (Steyn), 7-314 (de Kock), 8-389 (Philander), 9-455 (Morkel)

Bowling: Lakmal 33-12-75-3 (1nb), Eranga 9-4-32-0, Herath 60-12-148-1, Mathews 11-1-36-1, Perera 53.2-8-162-4

Sri Lanka 1st innings

K. Silva not out8

U. Tharanga not out20

Extras: (lb1, nb1)2

TOTAL: (for no loss; 12 overs)30

Bowling: Steyn 4-1-4-0, Philander 3-1-9-0 (1nb), Morkel 3-2-4-0, Tahir 2-0-12-0.

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