PORT ELIZABETH: Opener Dean Elgar edged towards a patient half-century as South Africa reached 110 for two at lunch on the second day of the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park on Saturday.
Elgar is not out 38 from 108 balls, having put on 43 for the third wicket with Hashim Amla, who has 31 from 71 balls, as they reduced Australia’s first innings lead to 133 runs to take the ascendancy in the Test.
Having resumed on 39 for one, it was a fruitful morning for South Africa, who only lost nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (29) when he played onto his stumps from a Pat Cummins (2-23) delivery. There were few alarms from the wicket, which did not provide the same seam movement that South Africa enjoyed on the first day when they restricted Australia to 243 all out.
Amla was given out leg before wicket early in his innings by umpire Sundaram Ravi off a Cummins delivery, but successfully reviewed the decision when it was revealed the ball had struck him outside the line of the stumps.
Ravi, the designated television match official, was on the field with New Zealand umpire Chris Gaffaney feeling unwell. Australia battled to create opportunities to take wickets, though spinner Nathan Lyon did find good turn off the wicket and was difficult to score off.
Rabada took the attack to the Australians with six fours, proving an irritation with the bat following his excellent 5-96 with the ball in the Australian innings. His further participation in the series is in doubt though after it was revealed on Saturday that he had been charged with a Level Two offence by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a hearing to be staged on Saturday evening.
Should he be found guilty he will receive a minimum of three demerit points, which would take him to a total of eight in the last 24 months, and trigger an automatic two-match suspension that will see him miss the rest of the series. Australia lead the series 1-0 after winning by 118 runs in Durban in the opening game.