A topsy-turvy day of Test cricket saw South Africa finish on 215/8, trailing England’s first-innings total by 54 runs in the second Test at Cape Town.
While Stuart Broad and James Anderson made early inroads with the new ball, a 117-run partnership between Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen took the initiative back South Africa’s way. The patience of England’s bowlers was subsequently rewarded in the final session, with five wickets swinging the momentum back their way.
The day began with South Africa still requiring one wicket to close out the England innings after Ollie Pope had frustrated the hosts’ bowling attack the previous evening. Kagiso Rabada removed James Anderson for 4 to close out the England innings on 269.
Broad then starred early on, finding the outside edges of both debutant Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza before Anderson had Faf du Plessis nick the ball to Ben Stokes in the slip cordon.
From there van der Dussen and Elgar put a halt to the wickets, with the former proving particularly frustrating to remove; he had an lbw decision overturned, an outside edge drop just short, and Stokes was unable to hold on to one that did carry to second slip.
The breakthrough England so greatly desired came through the off-spin of Dom Bess. The Somerset man kept things tight throughout the day and was finally rewarded when Dean Elgar, 12 runs away from a century, failed to get to the pitch of the ball and offered a catch to Joe Root.
As Bess kept things ticking over from one end, England’s seamers continued to work hard from the other and a bit of ingenuity from Sam Curran did for Quinton de Kock, who played such an influential role with the bat in the first Test. A slower ball saw the wicketkeeper get through his shot far too early, with Anderson taking the simplest of catches at mid-off.
Van der Dussen’s vigil came to an end on 68 as he guided the ball to the livewire Stokes in the cordon and Anderson, forever reliable with the new ball, made good use of the second one to take two wickets and round off the day with England smiling and in the ascendancy.
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