• Proteas patience pays off

    Stephen Cook scored 52 not out to guide South Africa to 92-0 at lunch on day one of the first Test at St George’s Park.

    Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat. At the time, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis acknowledged that the grass on the pitch as well as the variable bounce might assist the side bowling first.

    Du Plessis then went on to explain his decision to bat first. The Proteas, said Du Plessis, were wary of batting last on days four or five against the likes of form spinner Rangana Herath.

    The South African openers took their time to build a platform during the first hour of play. Cook and Dean Elgar played watchfully, and posted just 40 runs before the drinks break.

    Elgar played the first errant stroke after the break when he edged the ball. Fortunately for the hosts, the ball dropped short of second slip.

    Herath was brought into the Sri Lankan attack in the 20th over. While the spinner asked more questions of the batsmen, both Cook and Elgar played with confidence and ensured that South Africa went to lunch without losing a wicket.

    Cook reached his half-century in the final over before lunch. The South African opener needed 102 balls to score 50.

    The Proteas will go into the second session at St George’s Park with momentum. By contrast, Sri Lanka will need someone – in all likelihood, Herath – to provide a spark and get them into this contest.

    SA 92-0 – Cook 52 not out, Elgar 39 not out

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