Test rivalry between South Africa and England dates back to 1888 and even though the ‘Three Lions’ hold an advantage over the Proteas in the red-ball format, their rivalry in the same has been absorbing. In 1939, the two teams had played history’s only timeless Test while in 2000, the captains of the two sides decided to forfeit an innings each in a rain-hit game to reach a result. And on Boxing Day in Centurion, yet another bizarre incident happened, delaying the start of the match.
Local photojournalist Christiaan Kotze, who was on assignment for AFP, was walking in front of the sightscreen at the SuperSport Club after taking some pre-play images when he tripped on the boundary rope and fell. He was in severe pain and was diagnosed with sprained right-knee ligaments. He required medical treatment on the spot before being carried away on a stretcher.
The incident was followed by first-ball dismissal of South Africa opener Dean Elgar
Kotze’s injury delayed the start of the match by several minutes and had perhaps led to lapse of concentration for South Africa opener Dean Elgar. England captain Joe Root had won the toss and asked Faf du Plessis’ men to bat and Elgar played a loose shot in the very first ball of the game from James Anderson to get caught by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler on the leg side.
Kotze, who later gained some composure and walked up to the press box, feared the same, saying: “I hope I didn’t cause Dean Elgar to lose concentration,” Republic TV quoted agencies as saying. He added that some English guys even thanked him for the wicket as he limped past them. Kotze’s wife Catherine did the camera work while he was absent nursing his injury.
South Africa were in trouble losing four wickets before reaching the three-figure mark and it was wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock who steadied their ship. Debutant Dwaine Pretorius (33) also added 87 runs for the sixth wicket to take the home team past the 200-run mark. Youngster Sam Curran took three wickets while Stuart Broad took two. Anderson, playing in his 150th Test, took one wicket.
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