Plucky Eng­land keep Proteas at bay

CityPress - - Sport -

Nick Comp­ton and James Tay­lor struck half-cen­turies to help Eng­land to 179-4 at stumps on the rain-af­fected first day of the first test against South Africa at Sa­hara Sta­dium Kingsmead in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

Comp­ton was un­beaten on 63 off 179 balls with four fours, while Tay­lor was dis­missed shortly be­fore the close of play for 70 off 137 de­liv­er­ies with nine fours and a six.

Dale Steyn was South Africa’s best bowler on the day, as he reached stumps with 3-29 off 15.1 overs.

Comp­ton and Tay­lor did well to drag Eng­land back into the game af­ter the vis­i­tors had been re­duced to 49-3.

Tay­lor and Comp­ton added 125 runs for the fourth wicket off 45.2 overs af­ter South Africa had won the toss and asked Eng­land to bat un­der over­cast skies.

Morn­ing rain had meant that the start of the game was de­layed by 30 min­utes, but only 6.1 overs were pos­si­ble be­fore the heav­ens opened once again to force an early lunch.

The fit-again Steyn started well and re­ceived his just re­wards when Alas­tair Cook (0) prod­ded at a de­liv­ery that saw him leav­ing the pitch, with Dean El­gar com­plet­ing a reg­u­la­tion catch as the vis­i­tors slipped to 3-1.

Steyn also found the out­side edge of Comp­ton’s bat dur­ing his im­pres­sive new-ball spell, but the ball landed just short of Sti­aan van Zyl at first slip.

Steyn con­tin­ued his good form af­ter lunch when he had Alex Hales (10) caught be­hind by keeper AB de Vil­liers af­ter the bats­man wafted at a de­liv­ery that swung away from him.

Joe Root and Comp­ton then dug in for a stub­born third-wicket stand of 37 off 11.2 overs.

Root played a few de­light­ful strokes on his way to 24 off 37 balls with two fours and a six, but the in­tro­duc­tion of off­spin­ner Dane Piedt proved to be Root’s un­do­ing.

Piedt struck with his first ball when he turned a de­liv­ery sharply into the right-handed bats­man to trap him LBW to re­duce the vis­i­tors to 49-3.

Comp­ton and Tay­lor then set about blunt­ing South Africa’s at­tack, with both reg­is­ter­ing their sec­ond test half-cen­turies.

Tay­lor was the more at­tack­ing of the pair and he raised his 50 off 87 balls, while the pa­tient Comp­ton needed 145 de­liv­er­ies to reach the land­mark.

Steyn fi­nally ended the stand when he squared Tay­lor up and in­duced a false shot.

This saw the right-handed bats­man edge the ball through to De Vil­liers.

– Su­perS­port.com

PHOTO: THEMBA HADEBE / AP

GOTCHA! Proteas bowler Dale Steyn cel­e­brates af­ter dis­miss­ing Eng­land bats­man James Tay­lor for 70 runs dur­ing day one of the first test be­tween South Africa and Eng­land in Dur­ban yes­ter­day, but it was the vis­i­tors who took hon­ours on the day

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