Dean Elgar’s fifty puts Sri Lankan attack to sword for South Africa at Lunch on Day 1, 1st Test
Dean Elgar was in cracking form for South Africa © Getty Images
By R Vishal
Jul 16, 2014
Dean Elgar‘s stroke-filled second fifty along with a solid partnership Alviro Petersen put South Africa in command at lunch. Some pedestrian bowling from Sri Lanka was put away with utmost disdain and along with a breezy partnership with the reliable Faf du Plessis at the other end, look poised to take Day One honours.
The disappointment on Angelo Mathews’ face was writ large after losing the toss. Historically the Galle wicket has been a batting paradise on Day One and the South African batsmen pounced on the chance to go hell for leather. Given South Africa’s wretched record in these parts Elgar and Peterson started cautiously in the early overs.
The openers then decided to take the bowlers on. Shaminda Eranga and comeback man Suranga Lakmal were pitching it full and wide. Elgar, who thrives on width was quick to dispatch those poor deliveries to the boundary ropes and Petersen joined in the act soon enough. A flurry of boundaries followed and the Proteas raced to the fifty mark.
Mathews turned to the ever reliable Rangana Herath to give them the breakthrough. Hearth has a phenomenal record at this ground and he is well and truly the trump card in these parts. Herath’s threat was negated carefully by South Africa but it was Off-Spinner Dilruwan Perera who got Petersen trapped in front of the stumps.
The ball came back into the batsman and umpire Richard Kettleborough raised his finger amidst vociferous calls from the home side. Elgar got to his fifty with a huge six over deep mid wicket and a cut shot that reached the point boundary. Du Plessis looked comfortable at the crease and Sri Lanka wilted under the morning sun.
South Africa 111 for 1 (Alviro Petersen 34, Dean Elgar 62*; Dilruwan Perera 1 for 31) vs Sri Lanka
(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)