Town - The Proteas,
after a top order wobble that saw them reduced to 40/3, had batted themselves
back into a commanding position in the second Test against England at Newlands
That recovery came in the form of
a 117-run partnership between Dean
Elgar (88) and Rassie
van der Dussen (68) for the fourth wicket that took the
Proteas to 157/3 after a wicketless second session that had the visitors on the
Already 1-0 up in the series and
having dismissed England for 269 in their first innings, it presented an
opportunity for the Proteas to bat England out of the second Test and,
potentially, out of a position where they could win the four-match
Instead, what followed was a
woeful period of play that saw the Proteas lose five wickets for just 58 runs
to allow their visitors back into the match and the series.
Africa will now resume on 215/8, still 54 runs behind in their first innings.
The collapse started with what
Elgar himself referred to as a "brain fart" moment when, having spent
255 minutes at the crease, he tried to hit England off-spinner Dom Bess over
the top but misjudged the flight of the ball to sky it straight up to Joe Root
It was not a shot one would
expect from a player of Elgar's proven pedigree and a history placing immense
value on his wicket, and it was ultimately the moment that allowed England back
into the contest.
Speaking after play, the
32-year-old opened up on the dismissal and acknowledged that he should have
acted more responsibly.
"I wanted to be as patient
as possible and then if he overpitched it, to try and hit the ball to long on.
I felt I played him very well until a brain fart and then I was sat in the
changeroom. That's all it was," he said.
"We grafted and fought so
hard to get ourselves into a reasonably good position.
"I might just have chosen
the wrong ball to try and do what I wanted to do. A few overs before that I hit
him for four, and then you choose the wrong ball and that's pretty much all she
Elgar said the plan with Van der
Dussen was to force the English seamers to bowl well into day three in an effort
to wear them down.
"It's not right of me
playing shots like that, especially being the senior batter," he added.
"I shouldn't be putting the other
guys under pressure like that, but I'm also a human being and I'm allowed to
make mistakes. I've got two arms and two legs.
"I'm yet to see someone
master this game. It's a learning curve. Whether you've played 60 Tests or 150
Tests, you keep learning in this game.
"You're going to make
errors. I'll take it on the chin. I'm not one to hide away from responsibility."
Elgar conceded that, at this
stage, England were "probably one foot ahead" of the Proteas in the
Play on Sunday starts at 10:30.