New Zealand opting to bowl after winning the toss in the match with South Africa was its 22nd time in a row. In the opening day game, the team toppled South Africa at 22 for 3. However, by the end the visitors pulled up the score of 229 for 4 wickets looking forward to a massive tally. Dean Elgar struck 128 runs adding the seventh test century to his records. The batsman had a life at 36, being dropped by BJ Watling. It seemed to be the turning point of the inning because, after the instance, there was no turning back for Elgar remaining unbeaten throughout the day. With Faf du Plessis, the player added 126 runs. In the following final session, he added 81 with Temba Bavuma.
Elgar played 197 balls to knock the hundred. In the stretch, he smashed 20 boundaries. In January, the player was accoladed with Man of the Series award in the series against Sri Lanka. New Zealand’s strategy to play with two spinners had a little impact on the batsman. However, in the beginning of the match they incurred considerable pressure on South Africa. Jeetan Patel gave out only eight runs in his first 10 overs. The early wickets like Stephen Cook, Hasim Amla as well as JP Duminy played defensive. Neil Wagner removed the latter two, while Trent Boult dismissed the former.
The half century from du Plessis was a certain boost in the inning. He knocked Mitchell Santner for his final runs hauling to the half century mark. He also delivered good strikes off James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme. Neesham appealed strong and even got it reviewed by DRS, but it did not work out. With du Plessis’ wicket, New Zealand seemed to have grasped a breath, but their failure to contain Elgar made them pay the price. Elgar reached his century hammering the deliveries from Santner and Neesham. Bavuma did not strike in the beginning surviving the deliveries from Wagner, but finally broke the ice, remaining unbeaten till the day’s end.
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