South Africa keeper De Kock ruled out of third Test after bizarre dog-walking injury

Quinton de KockGETTY

Quinton de Kock has featured in seven Test matches for South Africa

Dean Elgar, speaking after his side had ended an evenly-poised first day on 267-7, dropped his team-mate in it by revealing he had twisted his right knee after slipping walking his two Jack Russell Terriers on the eve of the match.

Elgar said: "Quinny said he was walking his dogs and he slipped and he somehow twisted his knee. That's basically it, he was walking his dogs. They were little Jack Russell sisters. It seems a very freak injury."

De Kock's embarrassing entrance to the theatre of absurd sporting injuries meant Dane Vilas, his replacement, was forced into a manic three-hour journey from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg that involved planes, trains and automobiles.

Vilas, preparing for a domestic game for Cape Cobras, arrived midway through the first morning after taking a two-hour flight from the Eastern Cape, the Gautrain – Johannesburg's equivalent of the Heathrow Express – from the airport and then a police escort to The Wanderers.

His day ended when he was caught off the bowling of Stuart Broad for 26 to become the final South African wicket to fall.

Elgar said: "I think his day was pretty much turned upside down from about seven o'clock this morning. Like any person if you get that phone call you'll do anything to get here so it's great to have him back."

On the match situation, Elgar added: "We're happy with that score at the end of the day. If I had to pluck a ball-park figure out of my head I'd say 300 is competitive on that pitch. So we're happy."

Ottis Gibson, England's bowling coach, said: "There's a little bit of frustration but to have them seven down on the first day of a Test match is quite pleasing. They made us work hard for the seven wickets but we have to be happy."

Gibson also praised Jonny Bairstow after the wicketkeeper took four catches and completed a spectacular run out of Temba Bavuma.

"Jonny had a great day," he said. "He's had his problems but the dressing-room is buzzing for him at the moment because we've seen how hard he works and he's hard on himself when he does make a mistake. That run out was unbelievable. Hopefully there are more days like that to come for him."

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