Monday, 18 October 2021

Dean Elgar, de Kock tons lead South Africa fightback

Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock struck centuries to help South Africa avoid the threat of a follow-on.(Photo: BCCI)

VISAKHAPATNAM: Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock made centuries to revive South Africa before R Ashwin’s five-for helped India reduce the visitors to 385/8 on Day 3 of the Visakhapatnam Test.

Elgar scored a stroke-filled 160 off 287, a fluent innings which was studded with 23 fours and six sixes, while de Kock hit 111 from 163. The duo made their first Test hundreds against India, helping South Africa bring down the first innings deficit to 117. Ashwin finished the day with returns of 5/128 – his 27th Test five-wicket haul.

South Africa resumed the day on 39/3, 463 runs behind, with Elgar unbeaten on 27 and Temba Bavuma on two. The visitors lost Bavuma early in the first session for 18 and Elgar was dropped by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha when the South Africa opener was on 74. Elgar stitched a crucial 115-run stand with skipper Faf du Plessis, who made a steady 55 before Cheteshwar Pujara caught him off Ashwin’s bowling.

Du Plessis’ wicket was a big blow for South Africa but Elgar seemed unperturbed with his dismissal. He kept on milking runs, targetting mainly the spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Soon after du Plessis’ dismissal, Elgar brought up his 12th Test hundred in style with a six off Ashwin. He continued to bat with grit, along with the No.7 batsman Quinton de Kock, who also found timely gaps, reaching his fifty from 79 balls. Together, they lifted their side to 292/5 at tea, and the duo went on to share a brilliant 164-run stand, before South Africa lost their star batsman Elgar for 160 in the final session. It was Jadeja’s ball that did the trick, tempting Elgar for a slog sweep but instead, he top-edged the ball, which was caught brilliantly by Pujara at mid-wicket.

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