Dean Elgar: ‘I wouldn’t waste a referral knowing that I’d nicked it’

Dean Elgar has risked the wrath of the International Cricket Council by openly questioning his controversial dismissal on the fourth day of the second Test.

The South Africa opener was given out on 34 caught behind off the leg-spin of Joe Denly in the 29th over of his team’s second innings despite referring the decision made by the Australian umpire Paul Reiffel.

UltraEdge technology showed the barest of spikes as the ball passed the bat, enough to uphold the on-field call and reduce South Africa to 71 for one. The hosts, chasing an improbable 438 to win after England declared their second innings on 391 for eight, reached the close on 126 for two and will need to bat out the final day to deny Joe Root’s team a series-levelling victory.

Elgar’s dismissal could prove crucial to the final outcome and the South African was still incandescent at the close. Asked if he had hit the ball, he said: “No. I wouldn’t waste a referral knowing that I’d nicked it. I don’t play cricket like that. I like to see myself as someone who takes their outs if they’re out.

“It’s a bit of an emotional time when those kind of things happen. When I’d simmered down and was watching the footage I could still say that I hadn’t hit it.”

Elgar had to restrain himself when questioned on whether he trusted the technology. “I’m going to reserve my comments because I don’t want to get into trouble with the ICC. But as a player I can say I’m very confident I didn’t nick out.”

Jacques Kallis, South Africa’s batting coach, said: “If I told you the truth of what he [Elgar] really thought I’d be getting fined by the ICC.”

It was a happier day for the England opener Dominic Sibley, whose maiden Test hundred set up his team’s dominant position. The 24-year-old, playing in his fourth Test, ended unbeaten on 133 after batting for eight hours and 17 minutes.

He said: “The moment I saw the ball go for four is what I’ve been working towards since I was maybe 13 or 14. You dream of that and hopefully there’s a few more of them over the next few years.

“I love Cape Town, I’ve been here on some academy tours and I played an under-19 Test match here against South Africa. This ground is amazing, to score a hundred here with the atmosphere. It seems like a bit of a blur now but I certainly enjoyed it at the time.”

Sibley resumed his innings in the morning on 85 and he admitted to a restless night. “I slept terribly,” he said. “I was up at 2am, watching TV and just thinking about the 15 runs. It feels amazing right now and I’m glad that I got over the line.”

Meanwhile, Pat Brown has been ruled out of the white-ball leg of the tour after the seamer sustained a stress fracture of the lower back during his time with Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League. England, who play three ODIs and three T20s against South Africa next month, will announce a replacement in the coming days, with Somerset’s Lewis Gregory the likeliest contender.”