South African bowlers make inroads in Test

Ruben Hill
July 16, 2017

Dean Elgar (38*) and Hashim Amla (23*) were at the crease.

Anderson, 35 at the end of this month, has reached veteran status - and following injury niggles which have taken their toll at times over the past two years, he notably limited himself to just a short bowling stint in the nets during England's two days of practice at a venue where he has nearly always excelled.

Essentially, you have here the flawless combination of ground, team, and lower-order player to produce the desired result.

"It is nice to have options", said captain Joe Root.

The Yorkshireman's efforts with the bat could not be faulted after his brilliant 78 from 76 balls helped his side rebuild from the precarious position of three for two five overs into their reply.

Though that may mean squandering a few opportunities to get really substantial scores, it will give South Africa someone who change the pace of the game in a short period of time. South Africa reached 179 for two at tea.

This has been a theme of England's batting for at least the past two years, top-order collapses followed by a Root rescue act. "The first Test was plain sailing for him as captain but it's a real test here". But here, with de Kock at the other end, Amla was pleasantly more urgent.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took three wickets for 21 runs in 10 overs and recalled all-rounder Chris Morris three for 38 in 8.5 overs.

The Proteas opening bowlers got an early double strike as Alastair Cook (3) and Keaton Jennings (0) nicked off to Philander and Morkel respectively.

But a record like that coupled to the fact that when being made part of a 6-man bowling attack the pressure of his off-spin is surely relieved somewhat, is surely a big plus for England. "He's had a couple of injury issues over the previous year, and he's being smart with the way he practises".

It took him only five deliveries to break the seventh-wicket stand when Philander went without addition to his overnight 54, via a leading edge into the off-side ring. "It was tough going for us, the previous one, we weren't as good as we would like to have been but in cricket you get another go and we're looking forward to this Test".

South Africa took control of the second Test against England at Trent bridge on Saturday.

Chris Morris struck some useful boundaries at the start of Day 2 but he too fell trying to play against the away moving ball.

Anderson then proceeded to bamboozle Maharaj with a mix of outswingers and inswingers.

The next ball Morris launched into a massive appeal after striking Stuart Broad on the pads, the umpires were unmoved but South Africa reviewed and had the decision overturned.

"It was nice to walk across Lord's (after the post-match press conference) and have that feeling of pride, accomplishment and relief as well as getting off to a good start", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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