Twitter Reactions: Vernon Philander’s four-fer stands out on 15-wicket day in Centurion

Twitter Reactions: Vernon Philander’s four-fer stands out on 15-wicket day in Centurion

Joe Denly was the only half-centurion on a tough day for batting.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Both England and South Africa threw punches at each other in the second day of the opening Test. The bowlers from both camps came out firing on all cylinders. As many as 15 wickets went down on the day at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. By the end of the day’s play, the hosts are leading by 175 runs with six wickets in hand. The third day is most likely to decide the more dominant team.

Philander wreaks havoc

Stuart Broad got rid of Vernon Philander to end the Proteas’ innings at 284. The Brits didn’t make the greatest of starts as Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley perished for single-digit scores. Joe Denly (50) and skipper Joe Root (29) added 55 runs for the third wicket to inject some momentum into the innings. But Philander got rid of Root in the 24th over to put more pressure on the visiting team.

Ben Stokes (35) joined Denly in the middle and put on 72 for the fourth wicket. But after Denly got to his fifty off 108 balls, Dwaine Pretorius found his inside-edge. The Three Lions then experienced a batting collapse. From 142/3, they slumped to 181 all-out in a space of 93 balls. Philander got four wickets, conceding 16 runs. He got good support from pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

South Africa batters strain

South Africa well and truly had the upper hand, having notched a lead of 103 runs. But England’s seamers were in no mood to drop the gun. James Anderson pinned Aiden Markram in front to strike first blood. Thereafter, Stuart Broad sent Zubayr Hamza packing. Dean Elgar (22) looked good before he became Jofra Archer’s first victim. The onus was then on Faf du Plessis to bail the team out of jail.

The skipper scorched three fours and a six to get 20 runs. Faf was building a stand with Rassie van der Dussen and looked determined to see his team through to stumps. However, Archer’s sharp bouncer accounted for his dismissal. Van der Dussen stayed unbeaten on 17 with night-watchman Nortje in the middle. Van der Dussen’s role on Saturday will be to extend the Proteas’ lead.

Here is how Twitterati reacted to the day’s play