South Africa's Elgar, Amla grind out half-centuries

Australia let their initiative slip through a poor batting effort marked by a meek capitulation to man-of-the-match Kagiso Rabada

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa - Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla both made half-centuries as South Africa moved on to 153-2 by tea on the second day of the second test against Australia on Saturday.

Cricket Australia is understood to be furious with the conduct of Eksteen and Kazi, stunned that officials would be OK with the low-brow actions of supporters.

Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Australia team was "outraged" by the South African officials apparently condoning the masks.

Rabada's is the fourth player disciplinary case of a spiteful series so far after Australia's Nathan Lyon and David Warner and South Africa's Quinton de Kock were all found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute in the first test in Durban.

Warner's wife Candice had a well-publicised encounter with Williams in 2007, before she met the Aussie vice-captain.

"On behalf of CSA, I extend my honest apologies to the board of Cricket Australia (CA), its officials, team management, players and their families", CSA president Chris Nenzani said in a statement.

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Warner and de Kock were both fined and given disciplinary sanctions for the altercation. Candice Warner gained recognition in Australia as an "Ironwoman" endurance athlete.

CSA president Chris Nenzani apologised to the board of Cricket Australia and its officials, team management, players and their families. Kazi and Eksteen were then contacted by the fans and met them at the gates, where it was decided that they would be allowed in.

The masks, which Cricket South Africa labeled "distasteful" on Saturday when the picture became public, were being used by a small number of fans at the ground in Port Elizabeth to taunt Warner.

Candice had a tryst more than 10 years ago with Williams. In the incident, a clearly angry Warner had to be restrained by team-mates as he argued with de Kock.

One of the elements that had livened up a slow day out in the middle, the brass band that has been a popular fixture at St George's Park for two decades, was asked to stop playing by umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Sundaram Ravi, who claimed they could not hear the nicks off the bat.

South Africa's quest for a series-levelling win was given added impetus by a pending disciplinary hearing which could result in fast bowler Kagiso Rabada being banned for the remaining two Tests after his shoulder made contact with Steven Smith, the Australian captain, on Friday.

At drinks in the first session Australia had fought to 0-23 from 14 overs but once refreshed Warner exploded, hitting five fours as the tourists ransacked 44 runs in the next four overs.

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