Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Snapshot for day 2 of the second Test

Snapshot for day 2 of the second Test

Australia fought back on the second day of the second Test but could not stop AB de Villiers taking South Africa into a slender first innings lead at St George's Park on Saturday. But it was painfully slow going.

There was a farcical episode during the early part of the final session when the umpires stopped play because the music band in the stands, synonymous with playing at St George's Park, was asked to stop playing because the officials could not concentrate on the game. "South Africa batted extremely well to get through that period when the ball was reverse swinging and then we got our rewards later in the day", added Marsh.

Amla was also saved by the DRS when he was judged lbw by Kumar Dharmasena on 40, with replays showing he clearly edged the ball onto his pads. "Today was a tough day of Test cricket and I think those people who are Test match lovers will appreciate the skill of the bowlers and at times, especially when AB was batting, the skill of the batting", he said. But on the field, South Africa only strengthened their already good position in the second Test in Port Elizabeth, adding 71 runs for the loss of just a single wicket - that of Rabada, the nightwatchman.

Amla went to his fifty off 122 balls while Elgar took 164 deliveries to reach the milestone as the hosts went into the tea well placed on 153/2.

However, Amla was unable to really push on after scoring his fifty as he was cleaned up by Mitchell Starc for 56, which came off 148 balls and included six boundaries. Like Amla, Elgar fell to a full delivery which swung late.

When spinner Nathan Lyon (1-29) bowled Quinton de Kock (9), South Africa still trailed by 16 runs with three wickets remaining, but De Villiers continued to play positive cricket as he looked supremely comfortable at the crease, in stark contrast to just about every other batsman in the game.

Amla successfully reviewed what would have been Pat Cummins' third wicket of the innings, with the ball-tracking replay suggesting it hit him outside off stump.

But he displayed great resolve in his 81-ball innings (14 fours) with Vernon Philander (14 not out) to ensure the Proteas surpassed the Aussie first innings total of 243.

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