England in SA

Proteas: Elgar accepts responsibility for 'brain fart' moment

2020-01-04 20:00
Dean Elgar (Gallo)
Dean Elgar (Gallo)

Cape 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 on Saturday. 

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 back foot. 

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 series. 

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.

South 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 at mid-off. 

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 wrote."

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 Test match. 

Play on Sunday starts at 10:30.

Read more on:    proteas  |  dean elgar  |  cape town  |  cricket


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Saturday, 01 February 2020
South Africa XI v England XI, Paarl 10:00
Tuesday, 04 February 2020
South Africa v England, , Cape Town 13:00
Friday, 07 February 2020
South Africa v England, , Durban 13:00
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