The Proteas bowlers delivered a scintillating bowling performance on day one of the second Test in Cape Town as England reached stumps with the score on 262/9. Mark Boucher’s men would, however, have preferred bowling England out before the close of play.
England were dealt two major blows in the buildup to the start of the Test with Rory Burns ruled for the remainder of the series after he rolled his ankle during a soccer match in practice on Thursday.
The confirmation that Jofra Archer is also not fit to play in the second Test meant Zak Crawley and Dom Bess were added to the XI.
In the South African camp opening batsman Pieter Malan was handed his Test debut in the absence of the injured Aiden Markram.
England captain Joe Root won another toss before the start of play and didn’t hesitate in opting to bat first this time around.
Despite the fall of regular wickets, the English batsmen were able to add valuable runs to the scoreboard on a rather flat Newlands wicket.
Vernon Philander, who is playing in front of his home fans for the final time, gave the Proteas a perfect start, picking up the wicket of Zak Crawley with the England score on 13.
Joe Denly came in and together with Dom Sibley put together a 50 run partnership for the third wicket before Kagiso Rabada got the breakthrough before lunch when he found the edge of Sibley for 34.
Joe Root went on the attack shortly after the break as England surpassed the 100 run mark only for Anrich Nortje to break another promising partnership when Root was beaten for pace, gloving a short pitched delivery into the safe hands of wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
Keshav Maharaj then got the scalp of Denly moments later and just when it looked as if Ben Stokes was about to dig into the Proteas bowlers like he did at Newlands back in 2016, the left-handed batsmen drove straight to Dean Elgar at cover, falling quite softly with his tally on 47.
All rounder Dwaine Pretorius added his name to the wicket-taking list late in the day, getting rid of both Jos Butler and Sam Curran, before Philander sent Bess back to pavilion for a golden duck.
Kagiso Rabada then sent Stuart Broad’s stumps flying with a beauty of a yorker for his second wicket of the innings.
Ollie Pope, who was drafted into the team to replace Jonny Bairstow, offered some good resistance towards the end of the day though with a very valuable and well-played played half-century, which left the Proteas bowlers a bit frustrated.
England will resume their first innings on Saturday with Pope (56) and James Anderson (3) at the crease.
South Africa: Pieter Malan, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.