Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla scored 69 for the second wicket as the Proteas recovered from 6-1 to 75-1 by lunch on day one of the third Test at Newlands.
The Test in Cape Town is still evenly poised and both teams will feel they’ve done well in the first session, with the hosts weathering the early storm, and the visitors keeping the run rate down to under three runs an over for most of the innings.
Elgar and Amla scored a useful 88-run partnership in the first innings at St George’s, and they again played well after coming together after the early loss of Aiden Markram for a duck.
Markram, who has struggled in this series after his heroics at Kingsmead, was the victim of a Josh Hazlewood ball that found the perfect length which angled back into him and got an edge to captain Steve Smith at second slip.
That brought Amla to the middle, who along with Elgar, began to play patiently as Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc continued their barrage of fast bowling.
This brought about a change in tactic when Smith brought Nathan Lyon into the attack to take advantage of his psychological advantage over Elgar in this series.
But the two South Africans in the middle were not taking any chances and played safely by scoring singles against the Australian bowlers, who were keeping things tidy.
The visitors would have felt they had their noses slightly in front at the drinks break, as South Africa’s run rate was hovering around the two-run an over mark.
As lunchtime approached, Elgar was able to play with more freedom and increased his strike rate with a number of exquisite boundaries as they began to punish the Australian bowlers.
South Africa 75-1 (1st innings): Dean Elgar 40*, Hashim Amla 31*, Josh Hazlewood 1-15
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