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Sri Lanka fight back after Elgar ton

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GALLE, Sri Lanka: Opener Dean Elgar smashed a century before Sri Lanka pegged back South Africa with four key wickets late on the opening day of the first Test in Galle on Wednesday.

 HunzaNews,July 17,2014

The visitors were cruising at one stage after a cracking 103 from Elgar and a sedate 80 from Faf du Plessis. But the hosts fought back in the final session to restrict South Africa to 268-5 at close of play.

 Quinton de Kock (17) and Dale Steyn (0) were the not out batsmen.Elgar, 27, hit 11 fours and three sixes in his 186-ball knock but his dismissal immediately after the tea break triggered a mini-batting collapse that handed the advantage to the hosts.

 Elgar was sent back by paceman Suranga Lakmal (2-29), who had the left-hander caught behind by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.

 Hashim Amla, leading the side for the first time in Test cricket, had a forgettable outing as a batsman and made just 11 after facing 36 balls.

 Du Plessis holed out to Kaushal Silva off slow bowler Dilruwan Perera, and the in-form AB de Villiers (21) was bowled by Lakmal with the new ball in the penultimate over of the day.

 The day belonged to Elgar, who shared a 70-run opening stand with Alviro Petersen (34) and another of 125 with du Plessis for the second wicket.

 Elgar, playing his 10th Test, reached his second century in style, dancing down the track to smack Perera (2-100) for a massive six over the fence.

 The visitors´ dressing room erupted in applause for what was the first ton by any South African opener on the island. – Elgar shines with bat -Elgar said the rest of the batsmen would have to work really hard because the wicket had already deteriorated quite considerably.

 Elgar´s form bodes well for a side undergoing a transition after the retirements of Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis. Du Plessis, batting at number three for the first time in 15 Tests, also appeared at ease against the bowling attack, which relied heavily on spin. He hit five boundaries and a six in his patient 197-ball innings.

The home team were dealt an injury blow when Shaminda Eranga split the webbing on his bowling hand while fielding and had to be taken out of the attack. The visitors dominated the first two sessions after Amla won the toss and opted to bat on a placid track.

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