Dean Elgar became the first South African to score a Test hundred in India since 2010 as the opener led visitors’ valiant fightback on day three of the series-opener, in Visakhapatnam on Friday (October 4).
After resuming the day at 39 for three, South Africa took tea at 292 for five to frustrate the Indian bowlers, who could manage only two wickets in 67 overs bowled today.
Elgar (133 not out) and Faf du Plessis (55) shared 115 runs for the fifth wicket before Quinton de Kock (69) joined the centurion in the middle.
Du Plessis’ was the only to wicket to fall in the extended afternoon session when Ravichandran Ashwin had the South African captain caught at leg gully against the run of play.
While Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja got more purchase out of the surface than the South Africa spinners, the pitch did not appear to have demons in it. The oddball, though, did jump off the wicket.
Ashwin, who looked menacing in the final session on Thursday, could not get a wicket in the morning. Both Elgar and Du Plessis were not afraid to use their feet against Ashwin, playing some lofted shots.
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Elgar made his intentions clear early on by going for the loft over mid-on even though it was a mishit for four. He grew in confidence from there on and was successful in executing the aerial hits and shots through the ground.
Elgar, who liked all South African batsmen had a forgettable tour of India four year ago, brought his 14th Test fifty with a single in the 40th over. A little later, the southpaw smashed Jadeja for two sixes and a four in the same over.
The luck was also on his side when he was on 74 as Saha dropped a sharp catch off Jadeja.
At the other end, Du Plessis too looked comfortable ever since he charged down the ground to Ashwin for the first six of his innings.
Pacer Ishant Sharma picked up the sole wicket to fall in the session when he got one to jag back in sharply and trap Temba Bavuma (18) in front of the stumps.
On the second ball of the day, Bavuma had gone for a lazy drive off a full ball from Ishant but since there was no second slip, the edge flew for four.