JP Duminy believes that Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander can steer the Proteas to a first innings total in excess of 350.
The Proteas were 267-6 at stumps on day one of the first Test at St George’s Park. The hosts lost four wickets in the final session, a disappointing finish after the majority of the batsmen made promising starts.
Duminy, who was the top-scorer of the day with a brisk 63, feels the partnership between the last two remaining specialist batsmen will be a big factor given the challenging conditions. De Kock (25 not out) and Philander (6 not out) will front the Sri Lankan attack on day two in Port Elizabeth.
‘With the start that we had, it was a bold move to bat first on the wicket that we got, I thought it was a positive one,’ Duminy said. ‘The way that Dean [Elgar] and Stephen [Cook] started was exceptional.
‘Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on it, some of us got starts but nobody got a hundred, we will be disappointed with that. We are six down, probably two too many there at the end of the day’s play, but we have two quality batters out there that can potentially get us over that 350 mark.
‘If we can battle our way to 400 that will stand us in good stead going forward,’ he said of a par first innings score. ‘It’s the type of wicket where there is a bit of grass and as the Test goes on it can create some divots in the pitch which can create some variable bounce on day three and four. A big first innings total is crucial in this Test match.’