Home Sport Cricket Elgar’s 21st Test half-century helps hosts extend lead

Elgar’s 21st Test half-century helps hosts extend lead

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Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar, captain of the Proteas during the 1st Test day 4 match against Bangladesh at Kingsmead Stadium, Durban on 03 April 2022. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

With heavy cloud again hanging over Kingsmead for most of the morning session South Africa scored quickly, adding 99 runs to the overnight total reaching lunch on 105/1 with Elgar on 62 and Keegan Petersen on 21.

Durban – Dean Elgar’s 21st Test half century saw South Africa extend its lead to 174  runs at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh, in Durban, on Sunday.

With heavy cloud again hanging over Kingsmead for most of the morning session – extended by 15 minutes in order to make up for time lost due to bad light on  Saturday afternoon – South Africa scored quickly, adding 99 runs to the overnight total reaching lunch on 105/1 with Elgar on 62 and Keegan Petersen on 21.

It was a lively morning’s play with Elgar riding his luck, with one umpiring decision going his way in the second over of the day, while he was also dropped twice. In fact Bangladesh would have been wondering what they did to upset the two on-field officials Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock.

The off-spinner Mehidy Hasan spun one past Elgar’s outside edge, hitting him on the pad in front of off-stump with the ball deflecting to the third man boundary for four byes. Bangladesh understandably reviewed that call and the replays showed the ball hitting the outside of the off-stump, thus sticking with the on-field official.

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Even the dismissal of Sarel Erwee – who lost a protracted battle with Ebadot Hossain that included a few verbal exchanges – was one that didn’t please the touring team’s coach Russell Domingo.

Erwee was trapped in front lbw, Holdstock didn’t raise his finger, with TV replays showing the ball hitting the batter in front of middle and leg stump. The decision was overturned but even so, Domingo’s animated reaction indicated his irritation with the officiating.

He’d have been frustrated by his fielders too, with Najmul Shanto and Yasir Ali dropping two reasonably easy opportunities at slip with Elgar on 34 in the first instance and then later when he had 43.

The South African captain was understandably more aggressive playing at deliveries that in other instances he would have left alone. But he knows his side need quick runs as they try to create time to bowl Bangladesh out for a second time.

With the weather in Durban notoriously fickle in the final session especially, South Africa know that scoring quickly is crucial.

Elgar has struck seven boundaries in his innings thus far and even Petersen was more assertive than normal, with the pair’s partnership on 57 at the break, their scoring rate just under four runs an over.

@shockerhess

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