England win, but South Africa makes history

Kristopher Nichols
August 6, 2017

Extraordinarily, this ideal start to Test cricket actually happened for the Middlesex seamer, and his heroics effectively put the game beyond South Africa by the end of day two.

He recovered from a poor 13-run over - which he attributed to nerves - to come back with the crucial wicket of Joe Root for 52 to add to Keaton Jennings' (17) scalp.

Anderson's fourth wicket came when Theunis de Bruyn edged to Joe Root at second slip. The dark brown hue of the pitch suggested moisture, though not enough to deter Root from choosing to bat, and there was movement for South Africa's pace bowlers.

Losing Chris Morris and more importantly Vernon Philander was undoubtedly an unwelcome blow to South Africa, but they can be pleased with how they responded with the ball today. They were recovering well with the Cook-Westley stand before Keshav Maharaj scalped the former England skipper for 46.

England, who'd won the toss, resumed on 6-260 after Kagiso Rabada had yorked the risky Ben Stokes for 58 late on Friday.

"Hopefully the batters can respond well because he showed us how you need to bat in Test match cricket", he said.

"It is a test of character, it's a test of skill".

"From our point of view I thought we fought really well, we've battled well". Olivier draws first blood for the visitors.

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Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel counter-attacked for a partnership of 31, ended when Rabada was incredibly held by Ben Stokes, one-handed at gully, off Broad on what turned out to be the final ball of the day.

The surface was looking increasingly placid and while England's seamers were accurate and keeping the run-rate down, they were not posing too many questions for Heino Kuhn and Bavuma.

A brilliant dismissal though it was, de Kock had arguably made up in athleticism and hang-time what he had lacked in his initial footwork, as he dived fully to his right to gather the flying edge.

Root was the next to go after being caught lbw by Olivier.

The 27-year-old farmed the strike expertly, regularly orchestrating a single off the last ball of each over to protect number 11 Anderson, while finding the gaps in the field with an array of deft cuts and firm drives, as he raced first to a half-century and then closed in on a ton.

After Root's departure, Stokes found an able partner in Bairstow and the duo took England past 250-run mark thanks to the 65-run partnership between them. This modest statistic is a sound indicator of Root's quality as a Test batsman since the other four (with the fastest to 5,000 first) are as follows: Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond, Ken Barrington and Len Hutton.

Bairstow finished on 33 off 72 balls, which included four boundaries, while Roland-Jones has yet to face a single ball.

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