Sports

Elgar falls after Bairstow stars for England

Elgar falls after Bairstow stars for England

Ben Stokes top-scored with 58 before falling to Kagiso Rabada in the penultimate over, leaving England 260-6 on day one of the fourth Test. However, it was the return of Maharaj's spin that eventually did for the former England captain.

Cook's opening partner, Keaton Jennings, has been under pressure after failing to make 50 in six previous innings and he was unable to build any foundations again after another brief spell at the crease.

Maharaj, who took an economical two for 48 in 30.4 overs, added: "I'm pleased on a personal note but it's unfortunate we're 2-1 down in the series".

Lancashire's Anderson needed only three deliveries to take his first wicket at the newly named James Anderson End, an inswinger trapping Dean Elgar leg before.

The hosts remained unchanged while South Africa were forced into two alterations, with Chris Morris and Vernon Philander out injured.

South Africa contrived three wickets in the afternoon.

And the spinner responded perfectly, conceding less than 2 runs to the over in his 29 overs and claiming the important wicket of Alastair Cook.

Having made a strong impression on debut at the Kia Oval, he nearly played on with a single to his name, slashed wildly over the cordon on 15 and was roundly beaten by Keshav Maharaj just before lunch.

A brilliant dismissal though it was, de Kock had arguably made up in athleticism and hang-time what he had lacked in his initial footwork, as he dived fully to his right to gather the flying edge. Morne Morkel had another frustrating day, beating the bat on numerous occasions, seeing edges fly through vacant third slip and also suffering when de Kock dropped Bairstow.

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England were rocking a touch before a solid partnership of Stokes and Jonny Bairstow calmed proceedings for Root's men.

"You go back to Australia when I first kept wicket when I hadn't even kept a full first-class season with Yorkshire and it was pretty tough - getting criticised in an area of work you haven't necessarily been put through your paces at at county level".

"It looks as though it's a wicket where the bowlers are always in it".

"There a few expletives I am not allowed to say!" We let ourselves down with the bat in the first innings, and we have been brutally honest about it.

Ben Stokes made a valuable century in the middle order at The Oval and Bayliss, with an Ashes tour on the horizon, said: "I'm still of the view we don't need more than seven batters". The way he played in that second innings was extremely great to see. The obstacles have several threads: better bowlers, greater scrutiny, which leads to a far more pressurised environment than is experienced in domestic cricket.

"We let ourselves down but there is still everything to play for".

Cook, EnglandĀ“s all-time leading Test run-scorer, looked in good touch.

"This was just another opportunity to keep (Hameed) in the fold and make him realise he's very much part of the future of the England cricket team". The newcomers all made a start, supposedly the hard bit, but they could muster only 64 runs between them. "Hopefully he'll be pushing contention to get back into the team at some point".

Temba Bavuma played nicely for 46 only to be bowled playing no stroke, Faf du Plessis inside-edged on to his stumps and Theunis de Bruyn was caught at second slip.


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