Root‚ Stokes rebuild England innings
England’s Joe Root and Ben Stokes answered South Africa’s early assault with a wicketless session in the first test at Lord’s on Thursday.
Having been reduced to 82/4 at lunch‚ the home side reached tea on 182/4.
Root was 79 not out with Stokes on 52 in a stand of 106 for the unbroken fifth wicket.
South Africa thought they had broken the stand when it was worth 101 by way of Morne Morkel bowling Stokes off his pads for 44.
But the fast bowler had overstepped and the delivery was duly ruled illegitimate.
South Africa’s failure to break through in the second session undid much of Vernon Philander’s good work before lunch‚ when he reminded the Lord’s crowd of his prowess in seaming conditions.
Philander took a dozen wickets in South Africa’s last test series in England‚ in 2012‚ and claimed a matchwinning 5/30 in the second innings of the deciding match at Lord’s.
On Thursday‚ he took 3/26 in the morning session to earn the early advantage for the visitors after Root won his first toss as England’s captain and chose to bat despite a green‚ seaming pitch.
Philander struck in the fourth over when Alastair Cook prodded a catch to Quinton de Kock.
In his next over Philander trapped Keaton Jennings in front with a delivery that replays suggested had pitched marginally outside the left-hander’s leg stump.
Morkel had Gary Ballance leg-before to reduce England to 49/3 inside the first hour.
Philander returned to dismiss Jonny Bairstow in similar fashion in the third over before lunch.
Precarious though England’s position was‚ it could have been worse.
Root was five not out with the total 31/2 when he hooked Kagiso Rabada to fine leg‚ where substitute fielder Aiden Markram badly misjudged what should have been a straightforward catch.
Rabada also had Root dropped on 16 with the scoreboard reading 59/3‚ this time by JP Duminy in the gully.