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Twitter Reactions: Zak Crawley shines on rain-marred day at the Wanderers

Ben Stokes was the only Englishman, who couldn't cross the double-digit mark on the day.

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

Rain and bad-light dictated terms in the first day’s play of the Johannesburg Test match. At the Wanderers, only 54.2 overs were possible where England racked up 192 for four and would be fairly satisfied. For South Africa, they found it tough to pick their first wicket. However, in the second-half of the day, Faf du Plessis’ men kept chipping away and didn’t allow their opponent to run away.

Crawley and Sibley shine

No play was possible in the first session due to rain and wet outfield. It was England, who won the toss and elected to bat first. The visitors got off a steady start as their openers, Zak Crawley (66) and Dominic Sibley (44) played out the post-Lunch session with sheer grit and determination. Crawley got to his half-century off 80 balls and the Brits went into Tea with the score at 100 in 30 overs.

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To their dismay, the duo was separated in the third over of the final session. Beuran Hendricks picked his maiden Test wicket in the form of Sibley. Soon after, veteran fast bowler Vernon Philander found Crawley’s outside-edge, caught by Rassie van der Dussen in the slip. Five overs into the final session, the Three Lions had two new men, Joe Denly (27) and skipper Joe Root (25*) in the middle.

Root and Pope hold their ground

Dane Paterson added to the wickets-column, getting rid of Denly in the 43rd over. The batter was caught in the crease and could only edge one to Van der Dussen. Then it was Anrich Nortje’s turn to wreak havoc. He sent big fish Ben Stokes back to the hut to pile more agony for the Brits. It was then up to Root and Ollie Pope, last game’s centurion, to bail the visiting team out of the tricky position.

Pope carried on from where he left and looked fluent during his stay in the middle. Root and Pope went at a fair clip, but also didn’t get carried away with their stroke-play. With 10.4 overs still remaining in the day, bad light stopped play for one last time in the day. Going into the second day, both Pope, who stayed unbeaten on 22, and Root will be keen to carry on with the decent work.

Here is how Twitterati reacted to the day’s play:

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