A counter-attacking half-century from wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock steered the Proteast to 187-5 at tea on day one of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
De Kock shared an unbroken 76-run alliance with all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius. The hard-hitting left-hander batted particularly aggressively against part-time bowler Joe Root and was almost caught twice by slip fielder Ben Stokes and once by mid-off fielder James Anderson.
De Kock and Pretorius will resume on 64 and 25 not out, respectively, after the break. The hosts were precariously placed on 111-5 prior to their alliance. Thursday’s third session will present the opportunity to capitalise on an opposition bowling attack hampered by the tiring Stuart Broad and arguably toothless Jofra Archer.
The middle session yielded the dismissals of debutant Rassie van der Dussen and host captain Faf du Plessis. Seamer Stuart Broad had Du Plessis caught by Root for a 400th Test wicket this decade. Van der Dussen was caught by the same fielder, but off the bowling of left-arm seamer Sam Curran.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.