South African Bavuma checks England's progress

Jul 10, 2017, 00:34
South African Bavuma checks England's progress

England will begin Day 4 with Gary Ballance (22*) and Cook (59*) in the middle. It was turning a bit there as well, since Ravindra Jadeja would take 7 for 48 in England's second innings.

On another balmy day they were tormented by two of England's all-rounders, neither of whom was Ben Stokes. Throughout the game he was quick to introduce either Moeen or Dawson - or both - and they clearly enjoyed being the bowlers of last resort.

Thirteen balls later Elgar was on his way for two when Moeen took a hard-hit return catch. Moeen offered the greatest threat, in part because he was so miserly.

Moeen contributed 87 and Broad 57 not out, an innings not quite so polished but just as entertaining to all but the purist. The other contender was Root himself, given that he scored 190 on a surface that those who came to the crease at the weekend reckoned to be untrustworthy. He could not have hoped for a better start to his reign.

He also survived a review for lbw when replays show a ball sharply spinning back into him from Keshav Maharaj struck him outside of the line, supporting the umpire's decision.

"By the end of play, England had made 357/5 with Root unbeaten on a majestic 184 €" a day he would never forget despite the ratio of luck and skill.

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts after pitching a delivery during the first test between England and South Africa at Lord's cricket
South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts after pitching a delivery during the first test between England and South Africa at Lord's cricket

South Africa were operating with a skeleton bowling attack having come into the match with just three seamers and one front-line spinner.

Temba Bavuma top-scored with 59 though he really now needs to convert these fifties into hundreds. Against Morne Morkel he essayed what seemed to be a textbook forward defensive except that the ball flicked the outside edge to give the keeper a simple catch.

Rabada condemned Dawson to a pair for the match by bowling him with a full toss that left middle stump lying metres away from the wicket. Bairstow and Woods did manage to rebuild England's innings but Woods soon lost his patience as Rabada knocked off his off stump. Debutant Heino Kuhn tried to play it fine but instead faint-edged to Jonny Bairstow who took a one-handed stunner. Unperturbed, he summoned the elan he was once known for as a lower-order batsman, pulling and driving with abandon on the way to his highest score since the second-innings 65 that (controversially) helped to dig England out of trouble at Trent Bridge during the 2013 Ashes.

Thereafter the catches kept sticking.

England's efforts to turn a strong position in the first Test into a decisive one were led by rousing all-round contributions from Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali on a sweltering day of hard-fought cricket at Lord's.

It was a relatively predictable tactic from South Africa's skipper, and although he almost perished attempting a second expansive lofted shot in the same Dawson over, he was taken out of the attack having gone at over five runs per over.

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