PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 20: Dean Elgar of South Africa runs a singleduring day 1 of the 2nd Test match between South Africa and Australia at AXXESS St Georges on February 20, 2014 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Port Elizabeth - Dean Elgar said news of his contract not being renewed by Cricket SA was motivation behind his knock of 83 on the opening day of the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

“Obviously, it's disappointing news before a big Test,” Elgar said after being informed on Tuesday his CSA contract was not being renewed.

“I'd probably say it was an added motivation to try, maybe not prove to people, but show them that they've made an incorrect choice.”

Elgar, who opened the batting in place of an ill Alviro Petersen, top-scored for the hosts as South Africa were 214 for five at the close of play at St George's Park.

“I'm more at home opening the batting, I've done it for 90-odd first-class games.

“I don't think I've batted anywhere else to be honest. Hopefully that's a little extra motivation in the right direction.”

Australia's Nathan Lyon returned figures of 2/47, and said his side was prepared for a long haul with the ball.

“Test match cricket is a patience game and we're just trying to outlast our opponents,” Lyon said.

The 26-year-old also said the wicket would favour the spinners and was surprised the Proteas had dropped Robin Peterson for the game.

“It's going to be more of a spinners wicket.

“I'm really surprised they didn't select a full time spinner.”

Overall, the Australians were satisfied with the day's play according to Lyon.

“It was a pretty slow pitch and we had to work hard. I thought our quick bowlers, especially Peter Siddle, did a fantastic job there.

“The energy he showed was brilliant and I'm pretty happy with where we sit.”

Elgar shared in a 112-run third wicket stand with Faf du Plessis (55) and was 17 runs short of a century when he was caught in the deep by Ryan Harris off Lyon.

The breakthrough also brought an end to a fourth-wicket partnership with AB de Villiers of 58 off 159 balls.

At the close of play, De Villiers was unbeaten on 51 alongside JP Duminy who was on two not out.