Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla both fell in the 40s as South Africa went to tea on 152-3.
England bowled better after lunch with Steven Finn the pick of the bowlers. Ben Stokes also had a fiery spell against Amla, but it was Finn and spinner Moeen Ali who took the two wickets in the second session.
Alastair Cook’s decision to bring on Ali worked immediately, after the spinner had Elgar caught behind off just his second delivery of the day for 46. Elgar grafted hard throughout the day and perhaps should have left the delivery which got him out. The ball was well outside off-stump and didn’t need to be played at. It ended a 73-run partnership with Amla.
AB de Villiers came out firing and immediately tried to put Ali under pressure by hitting him out of the attack. De Villiers defended his first delivery, but hit the next two balls for four to leave no uncertainty about his intent, even though Cook persisted with Ali.
Amla (40) fell three overs later to a peach of a delivery from Finn, a full delivery squaring him up and forcing him to play at it and getting the edge.
Amla had survived a fierce spell by Stokes before that and continued to ride his luck which started at Newlands and continued here before it ran out. He first survived a big lbw appeal by Stokes, which the bowler asked his captain to refer for a review immediately.
Hawk-Eye showed a part of the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps, but it wasn’t enough and the umpire’s call stood.
Amla got an inside edge the very next delivery from Stokes which narrowly missed the stumps, leaving the English all-rounder furious.
None of the batsmen looked completely comfortable while batting so there is definitely some rewards for the bowlers if they get it in the right areas.
Stiaan van Zyl was the only casualty in the morning session after he was caught by Jonny Bairstow for 21 trying to pull Ben Stokes through the on-side. The shot was very poorly executed by Van Zyl and puts him under immense pressure to come good in the second innings.
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