County Championship: Surrey batsman Dean Elgar falls for 98

Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar has played 15 Test matches for South Africa
LV= County Championship Division Two, Kia Oval (close, day one)
Surrey 279-5: Elgar 98, Foakes 57 not out; Taylor 2-68
Gloucestershire: Yet to bat
Surrey 2 pts, Gloucestershire 1 pt
Match scorecard

South Africa Test batsman Dean Elgar fell two runs short of a Championship century for Surrey on an even first day against Gloucestershire at The Oval.

Elgar made 98 before he was caught by Michael Klinger off the bowling of spinner Jack Taylor (2-68).

Surrey had been reduced to 43-2, but Elgar's third-wicket stand of 131 with Zafar Ansari (64) forged a recovery.

However, the late wickets of Elgar and Jason Roy gave Gloucestershire a boost as the hosts reached 279-5 at stumps.

Stacking up the runs in South Africa
Before joining Surrey, Dean Elgar had scored 711 runs in his last 10 innings for his domestic side Titans, including a highest score of 208 not out.

Surrey opener Rory Burns, who returned to the side following the eye injury he sustained in a collision with team-mate Moises Henriques earlier this month, could only make 21 before he edged Liam Norwell behind.

While Gloucestershire's bowling unit claimed just five wickets in 97 overs, Surrey's relatively slow scoring rate, summed up by Ansari's 210-ball knock, meant they did not get away from the visitors.

Gloucestershire's cause was not helped by a hand injury to James Fuller, who required stitches after hitting a pitch cover and only bowled nine overs in total.

Elgar, whose innings contained 10 fours and two sixes, looked certain to reach his 24th first-class hundred but was out attempting a slog sweep which looped to Klinger at backward point.

The wicket of the dangerous Roy, who was bowled by Norwell for 14 soon afterwards, ensured day two will begin in the balance with Ben Foakes unbeaten on 57.

Surrey batsman Dean Elgar told BBC London 94.9:

"Stroke making was quite tough, even with the seamers the ball just seems to sit in the wicket.

"It's just one of those nitty-gritty kind of batting surfaces where you've got to have good game plans, knuckle down and get the job done.

"Batting once is very important. If we can get anywhere close to 400 and try and bowl them out twice, it's pretty much the game plan.

"The wicket will start turning more and bring our slow bowlers into play."

Gloucestershire coach Richard Dawson:

"Obviously losing James Fuller made it a tough job but I thought the way the lads stuck to it was brilliant.

"It was an outstanding effort, especially coming off the back of last night's Twenty20 and not having too much kip."

Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari
Surrey openers Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari make their way to the crease at the start of play
Surrey fans
There was a jovial atmosphere at The Oval as fans enjoyed a beer festival
Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar is playing in his second and final County Championship match for Surrey

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