GALLE, Sri Lanka : Opener Dean Elgar struck a brisk half-century as South Africa reached 111-1 at lunch on the opening day of the first cricket test against Sri Lanka. Elgar was batting on 62 with Faf du Plessis on 14 at the break as South Africa seized the early initiative after electing to bat.
Left-hander Elgar smashed a six and nine fours in a 70-run opening partnership with Alviro Petersen (34). Elgar raced past his second test fifty with a six and a boundary off offspinner Dilruwan Perera and looked set for a big score on a pitch helping stroke-play, but is likely to help spin bowling as the game progresses.
Petersen was trapped lbw by Perera with a straight delivery after striking four fours off 46 deliveries. Petersen looked unconvinced with the decision and asked for a review, but left after replays showed the ball would have hit leg stump.
This is the first test for South Africa after the retirement of Graeme Smith. New captain Hashim Amla became only the second non-white captain of South Africa after Ashwell Prince, and the first to be appointed as permanent skipper.
South Africa won a preceding one-day series 2-1 under A.B. de Villiers, who is playing in this match as a specialist batsman due to a hamstring injury with Quinton de Kock to keep wickets.