Kobus Pretorius reflects on the players and moments that shaped day two of the third Test at the Wanderers.
BATSMAN OF THE DAY
It has to be Joe Root (106 not out). While Ben Stokes provided the impetus for England to take the game away from South Africa, it was Root who’s still there. He was not as aggressive as Stokes but he was no slouch either. It’s a great effort to score a hundred on this pitch, even if the bowlers made his life easier with some poor lengths.
BOWLER OF THE DAY
Kagiso Rabada (2-44) was the only bowler who didn’t get a proper hiding from Stokes and Root. The youngster was impressive, especially with the new ball early on and continues to demonstrate an intelligence and calmness that belies his youth.
SHOT OF THE DAY
There were quite a few, but Joe Root’s cover drive off Morne Morkel for four was perfect in every sense of the word.
DELIVERY OF THE DAY
Hardus Viljoen’s first delivery in Test cricket, but only because of its significance. It was a proper loosener down the leg side, but Alastair Cook had a go at it, got an edge and Dane Vilas did the rest for an unlikely wicket and big scalp for the new man.
CATCH OF THE DAY
Temba Bavuma’s clever effort to get rid of James Taylor. The smallest player on the field, standing at short leg, pushed the ball which bounced off Taylor’s thigh up in the air to give himself more time to catch it the second time around. It was a big breakthrough for South Africa but everything went pear-shaped after that.
AB de Villiers missed a straightforward catch at second slip off Chris Morris to give Nick Compton a second life. It was uncharacteristic from the captain and the second catch he has dropped in as many matches after dropping Stokes at Newlands.
STAT OF THE DAY
There were two. Hardus Viljoen became only the third South African to take a wicket with his first ball and only the second in Test history to take a wicket with his first ball and hit his first ball for four. The only other was Matthew Henderson, of New Zealand, in 1930.
The second was that for only the 13th time in Test history had all 11 batsmen of a team reached double figures. South Africa became the first team to have all their batsmen get to double figures but none of them surpass 49.