England take the fight to Proteas

15 July 2017 - 14:18 By Telford Vice‚ Nottingham
South Africa's Vernon Philander in action.
South Africa's Vernon Philander in action.
Image: Reuters/Peter Cziborra

James Anderson and Joe Root took the fight to South Africa in the second test at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

England were 85/2 at lunch on the second day in reply to South Africa’s first innings of 335.

An aggressive Root clipped his unbeaten 52 off 40 balls with nine fours.

With him was Gary Ballance, who was 26 not out in an unbroken stand of 82.

South Africa resumed on 309/6, and were dismissed in the seventh over of the day.

Anderson was rampant in seaming conditions, cleaning up the rest of the innings in a spell of 4/4 and claiming all of those wickets in the space of 16 deliveries.

Vernon Philander went without adding to his overnight 54 to the fifth ball of the morning, which he spooned into the covers off a leading edge of his bat to end a stand of 74 he shared with Chris Morris.

Morris took his 23 not out to 36 before blipping a return catch to Anderson, who finished with 5/72.

England’s openers were removed inside five overs with consecutive deliveries, both caught behind.

Philander found the left-handed Alastair Cook’s inside edge with an inswinger before a straightening ball from Morne Morkel took Keaton Jennings’ outside edge.

That reduced England to 3/2, and Root doubled their score with the first ball he faced — which he tucked to midwicket off his hip for three.

Root offered a cameo of his approach in a Philander over in which he cracked the first ball through the covers off the front foot for four.

The next delivery flew off the outside edge of Root’s flashing blade and just past a diving Morris in the gully before streaking away for four.

Three balls later Root leaned onto the back foot to ease another boundary through the covers.

He went to his half-century four balls before lunch with another back foot stroke for four off Keshav Maharaj.

Root reached 50 off 40 balls, which equalled Graham Gooch’s effort against Australia in Sydney in 1991 as the fastest half-century by an England captain.

 - TimesLIVE