Wednesday, May 22, 2024

CSA: Memorable Monday – Elgar hits defining 189* in brilliant Eagles win

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Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa

The month of September traditionally marks the start of the South African first-class season. This year has been different, though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning a delay to the start of 2020/21 campaign.

As part of a Monday series this month, we look back at some of the more memorable performances from the opening round of the four-day season over the years.

It was the first weekend of the 2009/10 SuperSport Series and the Eagles, in their final season under that banner, were determined to make up for missing out on the first-class title the year before.

To mark the start of his third full season in first-class cricket, Dean Elgar produced an enthralling display against the Lions in Kimberley to help the Central Franchise claim an outstanding win.

Aged 22 at the time, the now veteran Proteas opener carried his bat in a chase of 339 with 189 not out off just 240 balls (25 fours, 2 sixes) as the hosts won by eight wickets in Kimberley.

But that result did not look likely halfway through the game when the visitors won the toss, batted and posted 485 for eight declared at the Diamond Oval.

The bulk of those runs came through centuries from Alviro Peterson (128), Neil McKenzie (109) and Cliffe Deacon (69 not out) that put the Lions in the pound seat.

A duck for Elgar when the Eagles batted left them in early trouble after Rilee Rossouw (12) also feel cheaply, the score at one stage sitting on 22 for two. However, Boeta Dippenaar (89), Reeza Hendricks (65) and Ryan Bailey (71) did at least help their side recover to a respectable 312 all out.

Deacon claimed six for 75 and that left the innings difference at a whopping 173.

However, the local, spurred on by recently appointed Momentum Proteas assistant coach Dillon du Preez (3/48), delivered a telling display with the ball second time of asking as they demolished the Lions’ batting, forcing them to declare nine down for 165 – Jean Symes’ 43 the top-scorer of the second innings.

Remarkably, the declaration came only on the final morning and left the Eagles just over 80 overs to reach their target.

But the young Elgar, aided by his captain Dippenaar (101 not out), batted all the way through, eventually sharing in a stand of 264 to win the game and claim a famous early-season win.

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