Cape Town – Dean Elgar on Monday became the sixth South African to carry his bat through a completed Test innings.
In doing so, he also provided the 50th instance overall in Test history of that achievement.
The left-handed opening batsman provided a lopsided, but manna-from-heaven unbeaten 118 of the beleaguered Proteas’ 214 all out in their first innings of the first Test against England at Kingsmead – meaning a potentially dangerous shortfall of 89 runs on the visitors’ opening-dig tally.
It was just the second time in the post-isolation era that South Africa have seen an opening batsman stick it out for the full duration of an innings – Gary Kirsten did it against Pakistan at Faisalabad in October 1997, registering 100 not out in a total of 239.
The only prior instance of a South African notching both a century and batting through the innings was when the late Jackie McGlew got 127 not out as the country totalled 292 against New Zealand, again in Durban, in December 1961.
All of the other three occasions did not involve the batsman reaching three figures: AB Tancred scored 26 not out in a flimsy total of 47 against England at Newlands in March 1889, Billy Zulch managed an unbeaten 43 out of 103 against the same foes at the same venue in March 1910, and Trevor Goddard – currently aged 84 – got 56 not out as South Africa were bundled out for 99 by Australia in December 1957 (also in Cape Town).
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