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Twitter Reactions: Mediocre South African batting keeps England in command on Day 2

South Africa are trailing by 312 runs at the end of Day 2.

England players
England players. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

After what was an even first day, England drove home the advantage and are dominating this Test match now. South Africa continued to struggle and there’s barely anything going their way at the moment.

England started the day at 192/4 with 54.2 overs. Joe Root and Ollie Pope were both batting and well settled at 25 and 22 respectively. The duo took the partnership forward and it was Pope who was the aggressor in that stand. He consistently found the boundaries and rotated strike well while Root was happy to play second fiddle. Runs were flowing and the Proteas needed some spark and Anrich Nortje came in and provided that. He bowled a lengthy spell in the first session, prior to the new ball.

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He leaked quite a few runs in the initial overs of that spell before storming back and blowing away Pope, Root and Sam Curran in quick succession to bring South Africa back in the game. Nortje knocked over Pope before having the England captain and the left-handed all-rounder out caught-behind off consecutive deliveries. From 258/4, England went to 269/7 and it was courtesy some pace and fire from Nortje. In the eight-over spell that he bowled, the 26-year-old fast bowler picked up three wickets and conceded 40 runs, most of which came in the first half of the spell.

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes shared a handy 40-run partnership before Vernon Philander broke through with the second new ball and continued Buttler’s wretched run as he was out for 20. Meanwhile, Woakes didn’t last too long either as Nortje returned to complete his five-wicket haul and England were 318/9.

It seemed like the innings-end was near but Mark Wood and Stuart Broad had other ideas. They decided to have some fun in the middle and toyed around with the Proteas attack. The fast bowling duo smashed 82 runs in a mere 8.2 overs to propel England’s total to 400. Broad scored a 28-ball 43 (two fours, three sixes) while Wood made an unbeaten 35 (two fours, three sixes). South Africa looked hapless and clueless towards the end and the Wood-Broad pair feasted on that.

South Africa crumble with the bat

When they walked out to bat, South Africa blocked and blocked for an hour and didn’t lose a wicket before Tea. Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar saw off 12 overs before the Tea interval but after that Wood’s introduction caused trouble. The batsmen were not at ease and the extra pace of the Durham lad troubled the South African batsmen. He was the first one to breakthrough as he got rid of Malan and the others followed like a procession. Rassie van der Dussen, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma all followed soon after. It was a combination of some excellent bowling with a couple of poor strokes as well.

After an excellent performance with the ball, Nortje came out as a night watchman once again and was out in the final over of the day. Quinton de Kock seems to be stranded at one end and is looking South Africa’s best batsman by a distance.

Twitter had a lot to say about the day’s proceedings. Be it the Wood-Broad partnership or the fire from Wood towards the end of the day with the ball or even trolling the South African batters, here are the Twitter reactions from the second day’s play of the fourth Test.

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