A battling 73 by Dean Elgar has lifted the Proteas to 157-3 against the Black Caps by tea, with a lead of 124 runs.
Another session, another wicket, as the Proteas continue to hold tight without showing any real impetus.
A rain-delayed start, followed by bad light, meant the Proteas struggled to really find their rhythm in the first session as JP Duminy rode his luck throughout. But the 66-run lead going into lunch gave them something to build on, and it’s been another slow session for the tourists.
The good fortune continued for the South Africans in the second session. On 48, Dean Elgar offered one to short cover, only for it to be put down by sub fielder Colin de Grandhomme. This after Elgar was dropped at the stroke of lunch by BJ Watling.
If you thought Elgar was lucky, then Duminy was even more so in the first session, with a simple chance put down by Tom Latham at first slip on seven, followed by a missed review by the Black Caps on 20. His luck eventually ran out, as the impressive Neil Wagner bagged his second wicket of the day, trapping Duminy in front for 39.
Despite a couple of drops, Elgar continues to be in fantastic form, and will be starting to think about twin tons in this match. If he achieves the milestone, he will become the first South African to do so since Jacques Kallis achieved the feat against India in January 2011.
Skipper Faf du Plessis is now set on 16, but that’s come off 73 balls as the run rate hovers just over two an over. Wary of a collapse, it’s been a cautious day from the visitors so far.
To be fair, the spin of Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner have asked plenty of questions when they hit the footmarks – Elgar overturned a decision against him for caught behind on the last ball of the session off Patel – but it means the Proteas are going to have to bat for a healthy chunk of day five to feel confident of making the game safe.
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