Dunedin [New Zealand], Mar. 11 : Dean Elgar, who scored a blistering hundred in the first innings, once again came to his side's rescue and played a gritting knock of 89 to help South Africa take a lead of 190 runs by the end of fourth day's play in the first Test against New Zealand here at the University Oval on Saturday.
At Stumps on Day Four, the Proteas were 224-6, with skipper Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander batting at the crease on 56* and 1* respectively when bad light ended play 20 minutes early.
The day produced only 186 runs and five wickets. It was some very tight bowling from the Black Caps, especially from off-spinner Jeetan Patel that never allowed the visitors to take the game away.
South Africa could barely push their scoring rate above two-an-over. Patel bowled 36 overs in the entire day giving away just 72 runs and also took the price scalp of Elgar.
Patel had figures of two for 72 and Neil Wagner two for 57. Elgar, who scored 140 in the first innings, batted comfortably but on 89 tried to lift the pace in the final session, and lost his wicket to the off-spinner.
Earlier, resuming the day at 38-1, the Proteas lost the wickets Hashim Amla and JP Duminy for 24 and 39 respectively.
Temba Bavuma, who scored a fighting half century in the first innings, was bowled by Mitchell Santner for six when he blocked the left-armer only for the ball to hit the pitch and spin back on to the stumps.
Patel then bowled Quinton de Kock at his individual score of four, claiming the South African keeper for the fourth consecutive innings on this tour.
The result in the Test match is highly unlikely, considering the weather forecast which has predicted rain on the final day.