Proteas bowlers pros­per

Phi­lan­der roots out Joe in spite of a stop-start first day, Cook’s re­silience

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS

his leg. Cook was characteristically res­o­lute, de­fend­ing stoutly and leav­ing well out­side his off-stump. That forced the South Africans to straighten their lines, which played right into Cook’s hands.

South Africa im­proved af­ter lunch, with West­ley re­moved by a gem by the oth­er­wise er­ratic Chris Mor­ris. It was a short spell from Morkel to Root which set the tone af­ter the in­ter­val. Root had been play­ing flu­ently against Mor­ris, but sud­denly couldn’t lay his bat on the ball as Morkel tore into him from the Pavil­ion End. Morkel de­served the wicket. Phi­lan­der, suf­fi­ciently re­cov­ered from what­ever ailed him, pro­duced a jaf­fer to snare the Eng­land cap­tain, with Quin­ton de Kock’s stun­ning one­handed div­ing catch round­ing off a pic­turesque dis­missal.

In that same cat­e­gory was Rabada’s de­struc­tion of an­other of Eng­land’s debu­tants’, Dawid Malan, stumps. While an em­bar­rass­ment for the bats­men, it’s a glo­ri­ous sight for any fast bowler when, be­sides the stumps, the op­pos­ing bats­men is also floored as Malan was.

South Africa won’t be dis­pleased with their per­for­mance. They bowled enough wicket-tak­ing balls that they prob­a­bly feel their ef­forts weren’t suf­fi­ciently re­warded.

The mini-ses­sion af­ter tea in which Cook, who fin­ished the day un­beaten on 82, and Ben Stokes played out seven overs may yet be a key pe­riod in the con­text of the match. That Stokes was able to sur­vive a test­ing burst from Phi­lan­der may yet prove ben­e­fi­cial for the home team.

Cook, rather like Hashim Amla at Trent Bridge, seems to have found his rhythm for bat­ting in this for­mat and all those pow­ers of con­cen­tra­tion will be re­quired to­day to keep South Africa at bay.

The tourists, mean­while, will want to be on point like they were in the last two ses­sions and hope the ball will find the edge more of­ten than was case yes­ter­day evening.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.