TEST ROUND-UP: Black Caps in command against Pakistan; Elgar leads SA response in Centurion
BJ Watling marshalled New Zealand’s tail to keep the home side in command as they posted 431 on the second day of the first Test against Pakistan at Mount Maunganui.
The Black Caps wicketkeeper built on captain Kane Williamson’s hundred and a half-century from Henry Nicholls, hitting 73 and sharing a valuable seventh-wicket partnership of 66 with Kyle Jamieson.
However, Pakistan’s disciplined bowling attack largely kept the brakes on New Zealand and leg-spinner Yasir Shah finished off the innings with three wickets before the tourists reached 30-1 at stumps, trailing by 401.
Dean Elgar narrowly missed out on a first Test hundred on his home ground at Centurion as South Africa failed to fully capitalise on Sri Lanka’s injury crisis.
The tourists are without all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva, who suffered a thigh injury on the opening day of the first Test – and they suffered a further blow when paceman Kasun Rajitha limped off with a suspected groin problem before lunch on day two.
Elgar and opening partner Aiden Markram initially profited from Sri Lanka’s depleted attack as they put together a 141 partnership in response to a total of 396-9, boosted by a maiden Test half-century for Dasun Shanaka.
Sri Lanka struck back with a flurry of wickets – including that of Elgar for 95 – but the home side regained the initiative through an unbroken stand of 97 between Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma, eventually closing on 317-4, just 79 behind.