Elgar century puts South Africa in command

Dean Elgar scored a career-high 129 and shared a 103-run partnership with Quinton de Kock to lift South Africa to a handy position after it struggled early on.

Dean Elgar celebrateshis century with Quinton de Kock (left). He top-scored for the host with 129.   -  Getty Images

Dean Elgar's century and a quickfire unbeaten 68 from Quinton de Kock lifted South Africa to 297 for six on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Cape Town on Monday.

Elgar scored a career-high 129 and shared a 103-run partnership with De Kock to lift the home side to a handy position after it struggled early on.



The opener's ton came off 186 balls and went two runs past his previous best score before he was caught by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis off Suranga Lakmal half an hour before the close.

De Kock, whose runs came off 90 balls, will resume with nightwatchman Kyle Abbott unbeaten on 16.

Teenager Lahiru Kumara claimed three wickets, including two in the same over, after he was brought into the side following Sri Lanka's 206-run defeat in the first Test in Port Elizabeth.

But the touring side will feel it did not take full advantage of the seamer-friendly track as it had, before lunch, South Africa teetering on 69-3 after losing the toss and being put into bat.

There was an immediate breakthrough before the home team had scored a run with Stephen Cook, man of the match in the first Test, out to the fourth ball of the game. He pushed at a rising delivery from Lakmal and got a faint edge to Mendis.

The 19-year-old Kumara dismissed Hashim Amla and JP Duminy in the same over just before lunch.

Amla, continuing his indifferent form, was clean bowled for 29 and five balls later Duminy gloved a quick leg-side delivery to be caught for a duck after an acrobatic leap by Mendis.

In the second session, captain Faf du Plessis was the only wicket to fall, making 38 in a 76-run partnership with Elgar that launched South Africa's fightback. He was caught at first slip by Angelo Mathews off the left-arm spin of Rangana Herath.

After tea, Temba Bavuma, who twice went out cheaply in the first Test, was caught for 10 trying to flick a delivery over the field but taken at square leg by Upul Tharanga off Kumara.

Elgar followed with a thick edge off the second new ball but not before seeing his team into a relatively strong position.

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