Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla put on 43 runs for the third wicket as South Africa reached lunch on 110-2 on day two of the second Test at St George’s Park.
The Proteas trail Australia by 133 runs.
Elgar showed some fight with his 38 off 108 balls, while Amla reached his 31 off 71. The partnership represented a good session for the home side, and they will be confident of adding more after the break.
Having come up short in Durban, both senior players will want a big score while also taking the Proteas as close as possible to Australia’s 243.
The hosts began the day with an overnight score of 39-1, with Elgar and night watchman Kagiso Rabada playing sensibly by regularly rotating the strike.
Rabada then started to frustrate the Australians by hitting two fours off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
Rabada’s innings ended after he tried to play a Pat Cummins delivery down to third man, but instead got an inside edge that sent the ball onto his stumps.
It was Cummins’ second wicket for the Test having picked off Aiden Markram on day one.
Amla then walked out to the crease and was immediately off the mark with a boundary off Hazlewood.
Amla was on seven when he was given a massive lifeline after he successfully reversed the umpire’s decision after Hawkeye showed that the ball struck him outside off-stump.
The South African No 4 batsman has struggled against Hazlewood recently and started playing conservatively when facing the Australian seamer. However, any bad ball Hazlewood bowled was sent to the boundary by Amla.
The partnership between Amla and Elgar was growing steadily as South Africa reached the century mark 20 minutes before lunch.
Steve Smith also brought Mitchell Starc back into the attack as Australia looked for a breakthrough before the end of the first session.
The Australians were unable to break the partnership, and Elgar and Amla saw South Africa to lunch.
Australia 243 (1st innings): David Warner 63, Cameron Bancroft 38, Kagiso Rabada 5-96, Lungi Ngidi 3-51
South Africa 110-2 (1st innings): Dean Elgar 38*, Hashim Amla 31, Pat Cummins 2-23
Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix