Centurion Test: Elgar’s ton puts SA in commanding position at Tea

Centurion, Dec 27 (UNI) Dean Elgar’s century put South Africa in a strong position as the hosts reached 194/3, trailing India by 51 runs at Tea on Day 2 of the first Test at SuperSport Park here on Wednesday.

Elgar, who is playing his last Test series of his life, was batting on 115 along with debutant David Bedingham after adding 81 runs for the fourth wicket.

Surprisingly, the pitch eased out in the post-lunch session, helping South African batsmen go after Indian bowlers. Though the ball was nipping around and moving a bit in the air, Elgar and Bedingham made shot-making look easy.

Elgar divorced himself from his traditional batsmanship and smacked a flurry of drives and pulls to get the scoreboard ticking quickly.

After Elgar and Tony de Zorzi put on a 93-run stand for the second wicket, Jasprit Bumrah snuffed out the sting of South Africa with a double jolt in his return spell. The star India pacer forced De Zorzi to edge one to the slips while defending a shortish ball, and the next over cleaned up Keegan Petersen chopping onto his stumps, reducing the hosts to 113/3.

India had a very good chance to add further wickets, but Elgar and Bedingham played cautiously.

Once the ball turned old and soft, batting became easy. Neither the short-ball tactics did not work as Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna were taken to the cleaners by Elgar and Bedingham. Elgar brought his 14th Test century by pulling a short ball outside off for a boundary.

Earlier, KL Rahul expanded India’s total to 245 with the help of Mohammed Siraj who stayed at the wicket to give a 62-ball company. Soon after his dismissal, Rahul smashed his 8th Test century before Nandre Burger rattled his stumps to scalp his third wicket of the innings.

India were off to a good start as Bumrah and Siraj bowled in the right areas, locking up South African openers. Siraj had Aiden Markram edge the ball to Rahul behind the stumps. Elgar and Zorzi put down their heads and helped their side to 49/1 at lunch.

Brief scores: South Africa 194/3 (Dean Elgar 115*, David Bedingham 32; Jasprit Bumrah 2-35) trail India 245 (KL Rahul 101, Virat Kohli 38; Kagiso Rabada 5/59, Nandre Burger 3/50) by 51 runs.

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