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Elgar ton lifts South Africa

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 08-03-2017 skysports.com

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Dean Elgar's unbeaten century helped South Africa recover from 22-3 to reach 229-4 at stumps on day one of the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin. 

The tourists were reeling after Neil Wagner (2-59) took two wickets in an over but Elgar survived a tough morning session, and being dropped on 36, to go on to register his seventh Test ton.

He finished unbeaten on 128, with 22 boundaries, having added 126 for the fourth wicket with captain Faf du Plessis (52), and an unbroken 81 for the fifth with Temba Bavuma (38 not out).

Having won the toss, Du Plessis elected to bat first while New Zealand took the surprising decision to leave out Tim Southee and go into the game with two seamers and a pair of spinners.

The hosts made a very bright start with Boult (1-40) finding some late swing to trap Stephen Cook (3) lbw as the opener looked to leave the ball.

Wagner then struck twice in quick succession, bowling Hashim Amla (1) with a full, swinging delivery and having JP Duminy (1) caught by Ross Taylor at first slip, having gloved a bouncer which reared sharply.

At that point, Boult and Wagner were looking almost unplayable while veteran spinner Jeetan Patel (0-60), who was introduced as early as the sixth over, tied things down at the other end and reduced the run rate to a trickle.

But, as the New Zealand bowlers tired and the wicket became more unresponsive, South Africa settled down and added 90 for the loss of one wicket in the middle session, and 76 without loss after tea.

Elgar left the ball when he could, blocked when he needed to, and punished anything loose, with 20 boundaries in his 197-ball century.

He offered a single chance on 36, when he was dropped down the leg-side by wicket-keeper BJ Watling, and on 42 he escaped a possible run-out when Wagner failed to field the ball cleanly.

Jimmy Neesham (1-29) was New Zealand's other successful bowler, taking the valuable wicket of Du Plessis for 52, caught by Boult at deep square-leg as he looked to pull the ball to the boundary.

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