Elgar: SA ‘shellshocked’ by Stokes knock

England

'It was a crazy day of cricket.' That is the best way South Africa opening batsman Dean Elgar summed up the sensational batting display from Ben Stokes and Johnny Bairstow on day two of the second Test against England at Newlands on Sunday.

Stokes smashed his 200 off 163 balls, the second-fastest double ton in Tests, and went on to make 258 before being run out by AB de Villiers. Jonny Bairstow made 150 not out, and England declared before tea on 629/6.

Elgar said of the brisk batting: "Funny enough it wasn't a very long day. It was just a very intense session and a half by Bairstow and Stokes.

"It was quite amazing to watch from where I was standing, I was also at the boundary quite a lot fetching balls. It was a crazy day of cricket.

"If you look at Ben Stokes, he seems to be one of those cricketers who chances his arm quite a lot, that’s the way he plays. Massive credit to him today, it came off. This morning he came out quite positively and aggressive, it could have gone to hand and we could be sitting here writing a different story.

"It’s one of those things, it’s either on your side or it isn't, it was on his side and unfortunately we copped a heavy first innings by them. You ride your luck when it’s there."

The bowlers simply had no response to the onslaught, despite trying out various game plans and ideas. Elgar gave full credit to the inexperienced attack who ‘gave it everything’, and if anything, will take a lot of learning for their young Test careers going forward.

He added: "I must give our bowling attack a massive amount of credit. "Whatever our captain asked for the bowlers put their hands up and threw it at them.

"We had various different game plans against the guys to try and get them out but it’s one of those days where you have to take your cap off and say, ‘well done, you won the battle’.  

"I can't fault our bowlers at all with regards to what they did out there, it’s just one of those days of cricket that hopefully don't get repeated against us."

Elgar feels the dominating performance from England’s batsmen will not have a lasting scarring effect on the team, who will need to slowly chip away at the towering first innings total with three days left in the match.

"We are professionals," Elgar said. "We don't need any more motivation to play for our country. Irrespective of what has happened we still have to do a job with the bat.

"Touch wood it has worked out for us so far. We can sit here tomorrow night and maybe discuss how good our batting performances were.

"You do go through some shell-shocked moments. I didn't have half a day to get over it, I had 10 minutes then I had to go out and bat. It’s part of the game and whatever has happened has happened. That’s what makes Test cricket so beautiful."

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