South Africa vs New Zealand 2017: 1st Test, Day 4, 5 Talking Points
A South African lead of 191 going into a cloudy fifth day keeps the Dunedin Test in the balance.
Dean Elgar once again led South Africa's batting effort on a sluggish fourth-day wicket in Dunedin with a fighting 89. He was well aided by skipper, Faf du Plessis, who made a half-century himself. He remained unbeaten on 56 as South Africa ended the day on 224/6 at stumps on Day 4.
The Black Caps had Hashim Amla early in the day and Elgar was helped by New Zealand's poor DRS calls plus their fielders, who dropped him thrice. Duminy, who walked in after Amla's wicket, resisted Jeetan Patel for a long time before Neil Wagner returned to pin him in front for 39.
Du Plessis and Elgar proceeded to extend the visitor's lead but the latter fell trying to up the ante. The opening brought two more wickets as Bavuma and de Kock fell quickly.
However, with a lead of 191 on board, with du Plessis still at the crease, and a windy, slow pitch on offer, the game is still in the balance. Trent Boult found movement and swing while Patel and Santner found encouraging turn which will keep South Africa happy knowing that they get to bowl last on this wicket.
Brief Scores: South Africa 308/10; New Zealand 341/10; South Africa 224/6 (Elgar 89, du Plessis 56*, Wagner 2/57)
Take a look through the talking points from day 4 of the first Test.
#5 Amla's woes continue
There is no doubting Hashim Amla's credentials as a cricketer. The South African no.3 has done enough to warrant a place among the greats the country has produced in cricket. But his current form is starting to worry the management.
In spite of a hundred against Lanka in his last Test, Amla has been woeful for the past six months and the worrying trend is the manner of his dismissals. In the first innings, he was cleaned up by an inswinging delivery from Wagner and here in the second innings, Amla chipped the same bowler to mid-wicket.
The slowness in the pitch contributed to his dismissal this time around but with South Africa leading by a mere six runs, Amla ought to have been more watchful, especially against Wagner, who has been the best bowler from either side.