We take a look at Dean Elgar’s five first-innings centuries as a Proteas opener.
1. 104 vs Sri Lanka – Galle, 2014
Starting his Proteas career as a No 6/7 batsman, Elgar struck his maiden ton in the lower order in just his third Test, against New Zealand in 2013. This, after making a pair on debut in Perth. In just his third Test as an opener, he brought up three figures against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2014, achieving the feat with a lofty six down the ground. With his place very much in doubt going into this series, that knock effectively saved his career, as it contributed towards a 153-run victory in the first Test.
2. 121 vs West Indies – Port Elizabeth, 2014
Returning to the scene of his maiden century in Port Elizabeth, Elgar found solace at St George’s Park once again in the second Test against West Indies, in what was Temba Bavuma’s debut. Summer rain affected the Boxing Day contest, after Elgar and Faf du Plessis’ (103) 179-run stand took the Proteas to 417-8 dec, with Elgar hitting 18 fours for his 121. The Windies were on 275-9 before the game was called, as the Proteas went on to win the series 2-0.
3. 118* vs England – Durban, 2015
Another Boxing Day Test ton for the then 28-year-old, but in a losing cause in Durban as the 241-run defeat to England was their third-worst in terms of runs since readmission. It was a one-man show as he carried his bat through the innings, crafting 118 with AB de Villiers’ 49 the next-best score as they were skittled for 214. That collapse around Elgar set the tone for the series as they went on to lose the four-match contest 2-1.
4. 129 vs Sri Lanka – Cape Town, 2017
Fresh off his series-defining 127 in Perth, the tons were coming thick and fast for Elgar, as he added a sixth to his collection against Sri Lanka in the second Test at Newlands, making it the first time he’d scored more than one century against any opposition. A 103-run stand involving Quinton de Kock lifted the Proteas in to a superior position, with Elgar scoring 129 as they posted 392. Sri Lanka were bowled for 110 in response, inevitably sealing the series victory.
5. 140 vs New Zealand – Dunedin, 2017
His seventh was his best yet, and it’s just a shame that the rain on day five prevented what could have been a thrilling end to the match in Dunedin. He amassed 140 on a tricky track, before hitting 89 in the second innings, breaking the record for the most balls faced by an opposition batsman in New Zealand. He narrowly missed out on becoming the first since Jacques Kallis in 2011 to score twin tons.