Cricket-Skipper Elgar leads from front as South Africa score 218-5

GROS ISLET, St. Lucia (Reuters) - South Africa's new test captain Dean Elgar led from the front with a stoical 77 runs to see his side to 218 for five wickets when bad light stopped play on the first day of the second test against the West Indies in Saint Lucia on Friday.

Quinton de Kock, who Elgar replaced as test captain in March, contributed a further 59 runs in a fight back from the tourists after losing three wickets in the opening session at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

De Kock and Wiaan Mulder will resume on Saturday with the West Indies expected to make belated use of the second new ball.

Elgar saw his first three partners depart cheaply to leave South Africa reeling at 37-3 just before lunch, but anchored two solid partnerships thereafter before being bowled in the last hour of play, having faced 237 balls in a patient innings.

He scored 87 runs with Kyle Verreynne for the fourth wicket as they clawed back matters and then had a 79-run partnership with De Kock.

Elgar was eventually bowled by a ball from Kyle Mayers that nipped back and squeezed in between bat and pad.

South Africa were in early trouble, after a brief rain delay at the start of play, when Aiden Markham went without scoring in the second over of the day.

Then Keegan Petersen scored seven before edging to second slip and Rassie van der Dussen (4) shouldered arms to a ball from Kemar Roach that nipped back and removed his off stump.

Verreynne scored 27 before a brush on leg side delivery from Shannon Gabriel saw him removed on the brink of tea.

De Kock, unshackled from the burden of captaincy, began briskly as he looked to repeat his batting heroics of the first test but then slowed down to reach his 50 in 89 balls.

A total of 82 overs were completed before the umpires took the players off with some 20 minutes left as the light suddenly dimmed under the threat of another cloudburst.

Up to 400 spectators were allowed to watch the test but had to prove they had been vaccinated against COVID-19 before being admitted free.

South Africa lead the two-test series after a comprehensive innings and 63-run victory in last week’s first test, which was concluded inside three days.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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