England were 238-5 when bad light stopped play midway through the second day at the Wanderers.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes took the initiative away from South Africa in the 30 minutes before tea to leave England on 162-4.
A run fest ensued after James Taylor fell to a terrific catch from Temba Bavuma as Stokes, the chief destroyer at Newlands with a magnificent double hundred, again took the attack to South Africa and put the bowlers under pressure.
South Africa were in firm control after lunch thanks to Kagiso Rabada, who was the most impressive bowler on the field, constantly testing the England batsmen with some great lengths.
AB de Villiers dropped Nick Compton on six with England on 42-2 off Chris Morris, but the bowlers didn’t lose faith and continued to keep things tight. Rabada eventually got Compton for 26 with Dean Elgar taking the catch at second slip.
Morkel got his first wicket when Bavuma took a good catch at short leg to get rid of Taylor, who endured some excellent short pitched bowling before losing his wicket to a forward defensive shot. The bat turned in his hands and bounced off his thigh before Bavuma pushed it up in the air to give himself a better chance of getting to it the second time.
The momentum swung after that as Stokes didn’t hold back and showed what a good batting wicket this still is. He had to negotiate some aggressive bouncers from Morkel when he first got to the crease but he survived and were then helped along with some poor, inconsistent bowling by the South Africans who lost patience and composure at a crucial time.
There were too many lose balls which led to boundaries and gives England all the momentum going into the final session of the day.
Stokes (36 off 30) and Root (60), who will continue after tea, scored 42 runs in the first five overs after Taylor’s dismissal as they pushed the run-rate to between four and five runs an over. Their 50-partnership came of just 35 balls.
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