Cape Town - The Proteas will be banking on the seventh-wicket
partnership between Quinton de Kock (25 not out) and Vernon Philander (6 not
out) to take back the advantage in the first Test match against Sri
Lanka at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas surrendered a solid
start with a burst of wickets late on the opening day, a disappointing finish
after the majority of the batsmen made promising starts.
Proteas all-rounder, JP Duminy, who was the top-scorer of the day with a
brisk 63, feels the partnership between the last two remaining specialist
batsmen will be a big factor given the challenging conditions.
“With the start that we had today, it was a bold move to bat first on
the wicket that we got today, I thought it was a positive one,” he said after
the day’s play.
“The way that Dean (Elgar) and Stephen (Cook) started was
exceptional. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on it, some of us got starts
but nobody got a hundred, we will be disappointed with that. We are six down,
probably two too many there at the end of the day’s play, but we have two
quality batters out there that can potentially get us over that 350 mark.
“If we can battle our way to 400 that will stand us in good stead going
forward,” he said of a par first innings score.
“It’s the type of wicket where
there is a bit of grass and as the Test goes on it can create some divots in
the pitch which can create some variable bounce on day three and four. A big
first innings total is crucial in this Test match.”
Duminy has taken charge of his promotion to number four, and played with
authority and confidence on his way to 63, which include 10 boundaries. He gave
credit to fellow batsman, Hashim Amla, during their important third-wicket
partnership of 73, which anchored the innings after the successive dismissals
of Elgar (45) and Cook (59) after lunch.
“You can get ahead of
yourself,” he said of his quick start.
“There were a few half-volley’s there to
put away and you can get ahead of yourself. I needed to come back and focus on
each ball. What was good for me was Hash (Amla) at the other side. He kept
reminding me to focus on the next ball, that is the positive thing about the
partnership we created out there. Yes, he potentially didn’t add too many
(runs) to the partnership but he added a lot of value to my innings.”