Dean Elgar’s gritty 54 is the Play of the Day.
Stand-in captain Elgar and his side were left with a mountain to climb after England posted a mammoth 458 in their first innings.
Together with debutant Heino Kuhn, Elgar negotiated a tricky four-over period before lunch on day two. After the break Elgar coped well with the loss of Kuhn, remaining resolute in the face of some great bowling from England.
Elgar bided his time in the initial stages of his innings, striking at less than fifty as he made his way to 22 of 45 balls. The turning point came when he drove Stuart Broad for four at the start of the 12th over. This appeared to break the shackles somewhat as he proceeded to hit a boundary in two of the next three overs.
A result of Elgar’s fantastic occupation of the crease was that he saw off the shine of the new ball. Elgar showed a terrific array of shots throughout his innings, driving full deliveries back past the bowler for four and cutting anything that offered width.
The left-hander proved once again that he is a fine player of spin. Three of his eight boundaries came off Liam Dawson and Moeen Ali respectively. He played an aesthetically-pleasing sweep off Dawson which ran away to the fence. He also showed his ability to read length early, dancing down the track and lofting a Dawson delivery over the top for four.
Elgar brought up his seventh Test fifty with a boundary through third-man, the perfect way to celebrate his captaincy debut.
Though he departed just three runs later, it was an important knock in the context of the game.
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