SA v Eng 1st Test Day 2 Review: Dean Elgar fights back Stuart Broad's aggression
Updated - Dec 27, 2015 4:18 pm
England resumed at an overnight score of 179/4 with Nick Compton and Ben Stokes coming into bat on the second day. But, England’s batting performance today was somewhat similar to the first day as they crumbled for 303 runs after the loss of Compton.
Dale Steyn continued from where he left yesterday, bowling with great firepower. Morkel, who had an unfruitful day yesterday despite bowling well, was the chief wrecker today for South Africa. England found it very hard to counter the tall fast bowler who used the early morning conditions to full benefit.
Morkel started day two with the wicket of Ben Stokes in the 71st over. Jonny Bairstow and Compton then batted together fluently and a big partnership was anticipated by the English fans. However, Nick Compton’s fabulous innings was brought to an end after he failed to connect a pull shot off Morkel’s bowling. The ball took a thin under edge and went straight to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers. The downslide began after his wicket.
Just about an over and a half later, the tall pacer struck twice in two balls with the wickets of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. Bairstow batted well for his 41 runs but was caught at slips due to a reckless shot off the bowling of Kyle Abbott.
England found some respite as a handy 36-run Broad (32) and Finn (12) partnership for the last wicket helped them reached 303 in the end. This last wicket partnership, in some way, covered up the England’s collapse where they lost four wickets for 20 runs.
England were batting well and looked set for a big score. They had the depth which ran almost till number ten. The hosts recovered well from 49 for 3 on the first day but all the good work by Compton, Taylor and Bairstow got wasted due to lack of resistance from the rest of the lower middle order and the tailenders. Steyn and Morkel claimed four wickets apiece.
Stiaan Van Zyl and Hashim Amla’s batting woes continued as South Africa found themselves at 14 for 2 against Chris Broad, who bowled a lively spell of fast bowling. Chris Woakes also bowled exceptionally and nearly had Amla caught in the 4th over by Bairstow before Broad took his wicket.
The next man in at No. 4 was AB de Villiers ahead of Faf du Plessis. He also looked little dodgy like skipper Amla. But, de Villiers took time and patiently knocked the ball with Dean Elgar. By now, Steve Finn was brought into the attack who also bowled with the same intensity.
Finn created a chance when AB was on 11, Stokes dived forward at gully to try and get his hand on a leading edge. The fielder appealed, but gestured that he wasn’t really sure if the ball had carried; the on-field umpires referred it to the TV umpire Bruce Oxenford who judged it not out.
Both, de Villiers and Elgar kept the run rate going and scored briskly, stitching a partnership of 86 runs after playing out close to 26 overs. Just when the South Africans looked steady Chris Broad brought a crucial breakthrough for England as he got AB de Villiers caught behind on 49. Faf du Plessis could not hang around in the last session and was also soon out.
South African batting was led by opener Dean Elgar (67*) who batted with the some solidity and potency and remained unbeaten at stumps as the Proteas finished at 137/4 on day two. He was aptly supported by Temba Bavuma (10*) and the duo ensured that there were no further setbacks in the day.
England: 303 all out in 100.1 overs (Nick Compton 85; Dale Steyn 4/70)
South Africa: 137/4 (Dean Elgar 67*; Stuart Broad 3/16)