England hit back to take four wickets in the evening session but could still claim only a share of the spoils on a hard-fought first day of the second Investec Test against South Africa at Trent Bridge.
Stuart Broad (three for 47), returning to his home ground for the first time in a Test since his epic eight for 15 when England clinched the Ashes here two years ago, shifted third-wicket pair Quinton de Kock (68) and Hashim Amla (78) in a spell of 5-2-8-2 after tea.
De Kock fell to the first ball of the session to end a stand of 113 as the tourists, who had to that point been vindicating Faf du Plessis’ gamble to bat first on a teatime 179 for two, faltered to 235 for six.
But the Proteas closed with 309 on the board for no further loss thanks to a rearguard from bowling all-rounders Vernon Philander (54no) and Chris Morris (24no).England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow: “It’s pretty even. Obviously, it could have been quite heavily in their favour if we hadn’t got those four wickets in the last session. So credit to the way our bowlers bounced back, (but) also credit to the way they applied themselves with the bat. On another day they could have got two, three, four wickets early on – and it would have been a completely different day.”South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock: “It was very up and down today. One session was ours, then another one England’s, so it was very back and forth. We’d have liked to have done better … (but) I think tomorrow will be moving day with us. Vern and ‘Morro’ have got us into a great position again, so we’re just going to look to capitalise on that.”
Tweet of the day
South Africa need a centurionAt Lord’s, five touring batsmen passed 48 at their first attempt but none made it to 60. In a match which saw Joe Root make the most of his early luck to post a first-innings 190, South Africa’s failure to convert cost them. Here, third-wicket pair Amla and De Kock were well set again, but three figures again proved elusive.
Number one spinner?
England insist theirs is Liam Dawson. After his first three-over spell had been farmed for 19 runs, including the nonchalant six with which Hashim Amla brought up his 50, it was not an obvious tag for a cricketer who himself believes his strongest suit is as a batsman. These were not the conditions to judge his bowling fairly. Further evidence is very much required.