Joe Root raced to a 40-ball 50, despite the Proteas’ quick start toppling England’s openers as the hosts go to lunch on day two at 85-2.
The England captain did well to spark off a quick recovery, after the hosts lost two quick wickets from a destructive opening bowling display by the Proteas.
But it was with the bat where Vernon Philander was needed early on, as he failed to add to his overnight score of 54.
South Africa needed a good start to the morning session, but they struggled as James Anderson ripped through South Africa’s tail-end to give England the perfect start on day two.
The Proteas needed a solid start from Philander if they wanted to push on past the 350-run mark, but his wicket exposed the tail-end, which sparked a dismal collapse.
Four wickets fell for 26 runs as Anderson picked up 5-72 and extended his tally for the most wickets at Trent Bridge to 63 scalps.
The collapse started when Philander got a leading edge to Liam Dawson, off the bowling of Anderson, for his second of the match.
This left Chris Morris to defend the tail-end, but there was no stopping a loose Keshav Maharaj shot, as he was dismissed for a duck.
Anderson then cleaned up, dismissing Morris on 36 and Morkel for eight, as the Proteas were bundled out for 335 in their first innings.
Philander matched Anderson’s lethal start to day two, taking out Alastair Cook (3) to rattle them at 3-1 (3.6).
Keaton Jennings struggled to cope with the early new-ball movement, as Morne Morkel found his edge to send him back to the pavilion on a duck.
Joe Root, however, continued his fine form against South Africa from the opening Test at Lord’s, and found himself on 52 off 43 balls by lunch, supported well by Gary Ballance (26 off 34 balls) as England posted 85-2 after 17 overs.
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