Saturday, January 12, 2013
Du Plessis punishes New Zealand
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (Reuters) - Faf du Plessis completed his second test century as South Africa cruised to 505 for seven in their first innings at tea on the second day of the second test against New Zealand at St. George's Park on Saturday.
Du Plessis, who began the day on 69, eventually scored 137 off 252 balls with 14 fours and two sixes before he became medium-pacer Colin Munro's first test wicket when the batsman was caught in the covers.
The 28-year-old right-hander reached three figures in emphatic style by striking the first ball he faced after the lunch break, from off-spinner Jeetan Patel, over long-off for six.
Left-hander Elgar proved the perfect foil for Du Plessis, bringing up his maiden test fifty off 86 balls before reaching tea on 91 not out off 157 deliveries with 13 fours and a six.
Elgar and Du Plessis combined for a stand of 131 off 38.5 overs, a South Africa sixth-wicket record stand against New Zealand beating the previous best of 126 scored by Darryl Cullinan and Shaun Pollock at Auckland in 1998.
Robin Peterson (8) did not last long after Du Plessis' departure before becoming Munro's second victim while Dale Steyn was not out at the break on four.
The Du Plessis/Elgar partnership helped to blunt a New Zealand attack which had enjoyed early success in the morning session with the removal of Hashim Amla, a centurion on the first day of the test.
Amla, who had scored his 19th test century on day one, added just four runs to his overnight total before he was caught down the leg-side by keeper BJ Watling off a delivery from left-arm seamer Trent Boult.
He was out for 110 off 235 balls with his innings including eight fours, adding 113 with Du Plessis for the fifth wicket off 36.5 overs.
(Writing by Jason Humphries in Durban; Editing by John Mehaffey)