Philander, Morris tip the scales in favour of SA at stumps against England
South Africa sacrificed four wickets for 56 runs after tea to relinquish the advantage to England on the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge on Friday.
The visitors, who reached the end of the second session on 179/2 after choosing to bat in conditions that favoured swing and seam bowlers, stumbled to stumps on 309/6.
But Vernon Philander righted some of those wrongs with a gutsy 54 not out, his second half-century in as many completed Test innings.
Philander and Chris Morris, who was unbeaten on 23, put on 74 for the unbroken seventh wicket.
Dean Elgar opened with Heino Kuhn, and they were separated in the ninth over with only 18 runs scored.
James Anderson induced a slashed drive from Elgar and Liam Dawson, in the gully, dived to snare a fine catch.
Kuhn needed medical attention after being hit on the glove by Stuart Broad in the eighth over and again in the 12th after taking a bouncer from Mark Wood in the head.
He batted on until lunch with Amla, and with focused discipline despite a 20-minute interruption for rain.
But, in the fifth over after lunch, Kuhn dragged a delivery from Broad onto his stumps and was bowled for 34.
At that, over the boundary stepped neither JP Duminy — who has been dropped — nor his expected replacement, Du Plessis, who missed the first Test at Lord’s to attend the birth of his and his wife Imari’s first child.
Instead, Quinton de Kock, who batted at No. 7 or 8 in 20 of his previous 32 innings and had only once appeared as high as No. 5, strode out at No. 4.
De Kock and Amla earned the upper hand with batting that was at turns innovative and sensible.
The stand might have been ended at 73 — when Alastair Cook, at first slip, dropped a low chance Amla offered on 56 off Ben Stokes — but it grew to 113.
It was ended with the first ball after tea, a wide delivery from Broad, which De Kock chased and edged to first slip to go for 68.
Six overs later Broad had Amla’s top-edged pull caught at deep square leg to put paid to the South African No. 3’s effort at 78, his highest score in eight completed Test innings.
That marked the eighth time Broad has dismissed Amla in Tests: more than any other bowler.
Stokes claimed Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma in the space of 11 of his deliveries with catches behind the wicket.
Du Plessis gloved down the leg side and Bavuma tried to leave and instead steered the ball to Jonny Bairstow.
England took the new ball immediately after it was available, and while Anderson and Broad upped the ante Philander and Morris were equal to the challenge.
Broad took 3/47.