Dean Elgar batted for the whole day and scored a brilliant century, but Pat Cummins applied the brakes as Australia restricted South Africa to 266-8 at stumps on day one of the third Test at Newlands.
South Africa began the third and final session in a commanding position, but Cummins rejoined the attack and ripped through the home team’s batting lineup. He picked up four wickets for only 12 runs in eight overs of his final spell as Australia ended the first day the stronger side.
Cummins claimed the wickets of AB de Villiers (64), Faf du Plessis (five), Temba Bavuma (one) and Quinton de Kock (three) as South Africa lost six wickets for just 37 runs. This meant the visitors finished the day with their noses in front.
The Australia seamer displayed a good balance between line and length in his final spell and prevented the Proteas from posting a dominant score, which looked on the cards during the tea break.
Vernon Philander (eight) and Keshav Maharaj’s (three) contributions with the bat were also not noteworthy, and Elgar and De Villiers’ good work was undone. Elgar finished the day unbeaten on 121.
During the week, the Proteas opener had spoken about batting through an entire day, and he did just that. But he will be disappointed that the team was not able to carry on and post a big total. But with Elgar still in, South Africa could look to get as close as possible to 300 in the first session of the second day on Friday.
Having lost Aiden Markram early in the morning, Hashim Amla and Elgar scored 86 runs for the second wicket as the home side recovered from 6-1 to reach the lunch break on 75-1.
Elgar and De Villiers brought the fireworks after lunch and scored 110 runs as they got South Africa to 185-2.
South Africa 266-8 (1st innings): Dean Elgar 121*, AB de Villiers 64; Pat Cummins 4-64, Josh Hazlewood 2-37
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images