Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
1 minute read
26 Dec 2016
12:24 pm

Immovable Cook and Elgar give Proteas ideal start

Ken Borland

South African opening pair produce the best stand at St George's Park in 25 years as Sri Lanka struggle badly.

Stephen Cook continued his good recent form with a competent fifty. Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images.

South Africa openers Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar could not be parted as they produced an impressive opening stand on the first morning of the first Test against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

Also read: Rock solid Cook gives Proteas a great platform

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Cook and Elgar took responsibility for ensuring South Africa made a solid start to the series as they reached lunch on 92 without loss.

Cook had gone to his second half-century, to go with two centuries, in his seventh Test, reaching the break on 52 not out, while Elgar was on 39 not out.

It was the best opening stand the right-hand/left-hand pairing have produced and South Africa’s best first-wicket partnership at St George’s Park since 1992, when Kepler Wessels and Andrew Hudson put on 98 against India in the third home Test back after isolation.

Cook employed his idiosyncratic technique to good effect, facing 104 balls and stroking seven fours, mostly through midwicket as he often worked the ball from off stump.

Elgar had collected five fours from the 71 deliveries he faced, with five fours.

Sri Lanka’s bowling had been steady, but they just lacked the pace to take real advantage of the movement that was on offer from a well-grassed pitch with some slow bounce.

Spinner Rangana Herath was introduced into the attack after 80 minutes and 19 overs of play.

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