Dean Elgar’s defiant stand of 136 at The Oval is our Play of the Day.
Elgar’s century on day five of the third Test was in vain. England went on to complete a resounding 239-run win and to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.
That said, the combative left-handed batsman’s innings was significant in another context. After five long Tests, and for the first time in the current series, a South African has scored a century.
The Proteas went into the second innings of the third Test determined to force a draw. Elgar played watchfully and took a few shots to the body in an attempt to protect his stumps late on day four. What separated Elgar from his less successful teammates was his intent to punish the bad balls, as well as his drive to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Elgar looked comfortable at the crease on day five. Even after Temba Bavuma and Vernon Philander departed, he continued to play positively, and reached his century with an expansive shot over mid-off.
Elgar’s resistance came to an end shortly after lunch. Moeen Ali tossed the ball up and invited the batsman to drive. The ball caught the edge of the bat and flew to slip. After 228 balls, Elgar’s stand was over.
The outcome may have been different if more of the batsmen had followed Elgar’s steely, yet positive example. The visitors may not have chased down 492 to win, but they may well have survived to claim a famous draw.
Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images