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South Africa recover after early loss on day 1

LONDON: An unbroken stand of 74 between Vernon Philander and Chris Morris countered Stuart Broad’s three wickets to allow South Africa to shade the opening day of the second Test at Trent Bridge and get their series back on track. On a day of push and shove between the two sides, the pair allowed the tourists to have the final say as they nudged South Africa’s total up to 309 for six. Although Broad threatened regularly and took 3 for 47, and James Anderson found some swing, England came up against more resistance than they encountered during their victory at Lord’s and failed to raise their game. South Africa certainly showed that they would not be taking the defensive approach to regaining a foothold in the series. They won the toss and elected to bat on what felt like a bowl-first kind of morning – and did so in spite of their decision to swap a specialist batsman for an allrounder, with Chris Morris preferred to Theunis de Bruyn. The other changes were as expected, with Faf du Plessis and Duanne Olivier replacing JP Duminy and Kagiso Rabada. Du Plessis’ decision to bat was a bold one given the predictions from the groundsman that moisture under the surface of the pitch would provide some early swing, and the fact that Anderson and Broad both averaged less than 20 on the ground. It was a statement that South Africa intended to lay down a marker in the match, something that they just about managed. That was the case when Dean Elgar fell to Anderson in the ninth over of the day, bunting a wide half-volley straight to point, where a sharp catch was taken by Liam Dawson. South Africa were able to recover from that point as Heino Kuhn and Hashim Amla took them through to lunch on 56 for one, with only 23 overs bowled due to a brief rain delay. By the break, Amla had gone past the 8,000-run mark in Test cricket to warm applause from a near-capacity crowd. He was beaten a couple of times by Anderson when play resumed after lunch, but Kuhn was the next to fall after a scratchy period in which he had failed to add to his lunch score of 34. The opener had overcome his habit of not moving his feet early on, but succumbed to a second issue – bringing his bat down from the direction of the slips – as he was bowled by Broad off the inside edge. At 179 for two South Africa were in the driving seat for the first time in the series, but de Kock (68) threw that away when he edged Broad to slip off the first ball after tea, ending his stand with Amla on 113 –Agencies

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