South Africa vs England, 2019-20: 3rd Test, Day 1 – Crawley-Sibley’s opening stand, A wicket less opening session, Faf’s losing streak in tosses and more stats

All the statistical highlights from the opening day’s play of the Port Elizabeth Test match.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England took the gritty way on the first day of the Port Elizabeth Test match against South Africa where they finished with 224/4. The opening pair of Zak Crawley (44) and Dominic Sibley (36) added 70 for the first wicket in 31 overs but both failed to convert the start. Joe Denly and Joe Root also departed in a quick span after scoring 25 and 27 runs respectively. Ben Stokes (38*) ensured England did not lose any more wickets by adding 76* for the 5th wicket in 25.1 overs with Ollie Pope (39*).

All the statistical highlights from the opening day’s play of the Port Elizabeth Test match:

England’s best starts after a while:

186 – The opening pair of Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley batted out 186 balls for the first wicket. This is England’s longest opening stand in the first inning of a Test match in more than 11 years. Sir Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss shared a 196-run stand in 47.5 overs during the opening inning of the 2009 Lord’s Test against Australia.


70 – The partnership of 70 runs for the first wicket is England’s 2nd highest opening stand in the opening inning of a Test since 2012. Sir Alastair Cook added 99 runs with Keaton Jennings in the opening session of the 2016 Mumbai Test against India.

2011 – Crawley and Sibley are England’s first opening pair since 2012 to survive the first session of a Test match. The last instance of England not losing a wicket in the first session of a Test was recorded during the 2011 Test against India at The Oval.

The duo of Andrew Strauss and Sir Alastair Cook added 75 runs in 26 overs by the lunch interval. However, Cook was dismissed on the 5th ball during the first over of the post-lunch session without adding any more runs to the total.

England’s top-order contributes:

3 – England’s first innings is only the 3rd instance in Test history where the top four batsmen scored 25+ runs during the opening innings of a Test but none of them got to fifty. The other two instances were also recorded by England – vs Australia in 1934 Leeds Test and vs West Indies in 1990 St John’s Test.

2010 – Each of England’s top six batsmen scored 25+ runs on Thursday. This was the first time since the 2010 Chattogram Test against Bangladesh where England’s top six scored 25+ runs in the same inning of an away Test.

2008 – The last instance of a team’s top six amassing 25+ runs in a Test innings on South African soil was during the 2008 Durban Test. South Africa did it during their first inning of the Test against West Indies.

Another loss at the toss for Faf:

6 – Faf du Plessis has lost the toss in each of his last six Test matches as captain. His losing streak began during the 3-match Test series against India in India. Du Plessis’ streak of six toss losses in Test cricket is now the joint 2nd longest for any South African skipper. Graeme Smith lost 8 consecutive tosses in the longer format between 2008 and 2009.