Elgar left stranded as Proteas crumble

Dean Elgar (Gallo Images)
Dean Elgar (Gallo Images)

Durban - It took two balls on day three for any concerns that the Proteas were in a world of trouble in the first Test against England in Durban to be confirmed.

Temba Bavuma, who had looked compact and disciplined in the final hour of day two, was sent packing before most in the ground had taken their seats. 

The England wicket-taker was Stuart Broad once more when a ball outside off stump that perhaps stayed a bit low was chopped on by Bavuma (10). 

JP Duminy walked out to the middle at No 7 under massive pressure, having carded just one Test 50 in his last 10 innings. 

With Dean Elgar standing firm, this was the partnership that needed to click if the Proteas were to get near the England first innings total of 303. 

But Duminy did not last, and this time it was off-spinner Moeen Ali doing the damage when the left-hander edged to Ben Stokes at first slip. 

Kyle Abbott was next in, but the Kingsmead local faced just six balls before he too fell to Ali after an inside edge onto the pad saw him snapped up by James Taylor at short leg. 

Elgar, meanwhile, was as cool as ever and he picked up where he left off on day two to bring up his fourth Test century in the 69th over. 

It was a master-class from the 28-year-old, who pumped his fist towards the dressing room and bashed away at the Proteas badge on his chest in celebration. 

But the truth is that there was little much else for South Africa to applaud. 

Aside from Elgar, the Proteas top order - six specialist batsmen - combined for 70 runs that included AB de Villiers' 49. 

Steyn provided support for Elgar for 18 overs and the pair put on a valuable 54 run stand for the eighth wicket.

But the Proteas quick ran out of patience, and when he attempted to hit Ali out of the ground in the 78th over he was caught by Chris Woakes at mid-off, giving the England spinner his fourth wicket of the innings.

Dane Piedt then joined Elgar, and was at the wicket when England took the new ball. 

He also didn't last, and was caught behind for 1 as Steven Finn picked up his first wicket.

Morne Morkel then faced just three balls before he was caught at slip off Finn for 0. 

Elgar was left stranded on 118* as the Proteas were dismissed for 214 - 89 runs short of the England total when lunch was called just before midday. 


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