Tourists in Control After Dominant Day 3
South African pair Dean Elgar and JP Duminy's centuries gave the tourists a strangle hold on the 1st Test in Perth. The tourists ended Day 3 at 6/390 with a commanding lead of 388 runs against what seems like a weary opponent. On a baking hot day, with temperatures soaring into the high 30s, South Africa batted with patience and discipline to nullify an Australian attack that functioned rather then flourished. The best of the Australian bowlers was retuning paceman Peter Siddle who toiled away for 2/47 from his 22 overs. Elgar and Duminy resumed on Day 3 and together batted for 4 hours, racking up a huge partnership of 250 before Duminy fell for 141 in what proved to be the last ball before tea. Whilst Australia did not bowl badly, they did miss a couple of opportunities in the field which stalled any kind of momentum they were trying to build. Both Mitchell Starc and Adam Voges were guilty of panic under a high ball, getting nowhere near a couple of skiers offered by JP Duminy and Quinton De Kock. With De Kock still at the crease, Australia face the daunting prospect of having to run down a world record 4th innings run chase of over 450 if they want to avoid going 1-0 down in the three Test series.
Elgar an Old Fashioned Grinder
There is nothing pretty or cavalier about Dean Elgar's batting, however he was extremely effective here. Displaying the seemingly old fashioned virtues of occupying the crease, letting a lot of balls pass and waiting for scoring opportunities, Elgar was the rock on which South Africa's foundations were built. A gritty player who has not quite reached the heights expected of him as a youngster, Elgar cemented his spot in this South African team here with a dogged and determined anchor drop. His 127 from 316 balls in searing heat displayed great resolve, concentration and discipline and showed modern batting doesn't all have to be about taking the game to the opponents. With a modest average of 36 from his 26 Tests matches, Elgar has never quite been able to establish himself at this level. However at 29 years of age, this sort of innings against a quality attack should give the confidence to Elgar that he can add to his tally of four Test Match centuries in the future.
Duminy Finally Delivering on Potential
Rumour has it JP Duminy was considering retiring from Test Cricket when he was dropped from the South African side from their New Year's Test Match against England in January. Duminy had gone 12 innings without a century and only passed 50 in one of those innings as he wrestled with thoughts of dedicating himself to the shorter versions of the game. Since bursting on to the scene in 2008 with a hundred in his debut series in Australia, Duminy has struggled to live up to the potential he displayed. Duminy averages just 32 from 36 Test matches, however he looked a far superior player to that record with a commanding 141 here in Perth. After winning back a place in the side in New Zealand's recent tour of South Africa, Duminy was given the added responsibility of batting number 4 and he responded with an innings of 88. Here he went a step forward and toyed with an impressive Australian attack on the way to the most important innings of his Test career. Dummy, at 32 years of age, still has a few good years in front of him, and this innings might help him find that belief that he can flourish in the longer format as well as the shorter version of the game.