South Africa quell England’s Ben Stokes-inspired fightback at Lord’s to stay on top in first Test

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Highlights from day two of the first LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa at Lord’s.

Highlights from day two of the first LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa at Lord’s.

South Africa quelled England’s Ben Stokes-inspired fightback at Lord’s to remain firmly on top after day two of the first LV= Insurance Test.

After South Africa stumbled from 160-2 to 210-6 – at which point the tourists’ lead was just 45 – Marco Jansen (41no off 57) and Keshav Maharaj (41 off 49) combined for a vibrant seventh-wicket partnership of 72 from 75 balls before the Proteas closed on 289-7 and and 124 runs to the good.

Kagiso Rabada (5-52) had earlier picked up three of the final four wickets to fall, including top-scorer Ollie Pope (73), as England slipped from their overnight 116-6 to 165 all out before opening batter Sarel Erwee (73) guided South Africa into the lead only three down.

Ben Stokes took three wickets on day two at Lord’s, removing Sarel Erwee (73), Rassie van der Dussen (19) and Keshav Maharaj (41)

England skipper Stokes (3-53) removed Erwee with a scorching short ball and pinned Rassie van der Dussen (19) lbw while Stuart Broad then made Kyle Verreynne (11) his 100th Test wicket at Lord’s as England rallied.

That revival, though, was halted by Jansen and Maharaj, until the latter was caught off Stokes at midwicket by Matthew Potts close to stumps.

Rabada and Erwee have also played key roles for the tourists – the former notching his 12th five-for in Test cricket and the latter sharing half-century stands with skipper Dean Elgar (47) and Keegan Petersen (24).

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Rabada rolls England to get on honours board

England added just 49 runs in the morning as Rabada proved red-hot with the red ball on the day Lord’s turned red for the Ruth Strauss Foundation and to support families facing the death of a parent.

Pope was the first to be dismissed, dragging Rabada onto his stumps off an inside edge, having been shelled off the same bowler in the opening over as Erwee failed to catch in the cordon after a series of comical juggles.

Rabada proceeded to have Broad (15) caught at point off a splendid slower ball and then, after Jansen cleaned up Jack Leach (15), ended the home side’s innings when he pinned James Anderson lbw for a duck – England all out in exactly 45 overs with Pope the only player to pass 20.

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Ollie Pope was dropped on 67 in the slip cordon as South Africa fielder Sarel Erwee failed to catch the ball despite having about four goes at it!

Ollie Pope was dropped on 67 in the slip cordon as South Africa fielder Sarel Erwee failed to catch the ball despite having about four goes at it!

Elgar and Erwee both surpassed that mark – although Elgar did endure a couple of scares on seven, firstly overturning a caught-behind dismissal off Broad with no bat, just pad, involved, before Zak Crawley shelled a chance reaching above his head at slip, off the bowling of Potts.

Potts proved expensive after lunch, picked off for boundaries by Elgar and Erwee when he erred too full or too short, and it was Anderson who snapped the 85-run, first-wicket stand in rather fortuitous fashion.

Elgar attempted to clip the England seamer off his pads only for the delivery to brush thigh guard and forearm before trickling back onto the stumps as he fell three runs shy of a 23rd Test fifty.

That dismissal ensured Anderson become the first forty-plus frontline pace bowler to take a Test wicket for England since Leslie Jackson against Australia in 1961 – Anderson having turned 40 on July 30.

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South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s luck was out as he was bowled by James Anderson off his thigh pad and forearm

South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s luck was out as he was bowled by James Anderson off his thigh pad and forearm

Erwee stars before Stokes lifts England

Elgar missed out on a half-century, then, but not Erwee, who struck Broad through the off-side for four to reach fifty from 89 deliveries.

The left-hander – who was considering quitting the game a few years ago after struggling with off-field issues – continued to play tidily amid Petersen and Aiden Markram (16) snicking Potts and left-arm spinner Leach respectively behind.

Erwee’s composed innings eventually came to a close following that brutish short ball from Stokes, which the Proteas opener could only balloon through to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

Stokes struck again in his next over, trapping Van der Dussen plumb in front with a nip-backer to leave South Africa five down and the lead at just 27 – Stokes’ crucial spell reading 2-14 from five overs with two maidens.

Broad then nicked off Verreynne as he became only the second player, after Anderson, to claim a triple-figure number of Test wickets at Lord’s – before Jansen and Maharaj’s alliance dampened England fans’ optimism.

That optimism may have risen once more when Maharaj flapped a Stokes bumper to Potts late in the day but the home side have a lot of work to do to preserve their unbeaten record under captain Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

Leach insists England will continue to stick to their guns

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Jack Leach says despite being behind England will stick with their attacking intent

Jack Leach says despite being behind England will stick with their attacking intent

“Obviously we are behind in the game, but we stuck at it very well. We are always trying to take wickets, that is our mindset,” left-arm spin bowler Jack Leach told Sky Sports.

“We could have got a few more wickets earlier, but we just have to keep at it. We are creating half chances, and have to believe that at some point, they will go for us.”

Leach also hopes to maintain his own progress under Stokes’ guidance, adding: “I feel that belief in me which is nice and am just trying to make the most of that.

“It is confidence after playing enough Test cricket that you learned a lot from those games, it comes from performances and takes some time I guess.

“I would rather have done that earlier, but don’t think I could have got to that quicker.”

England have won only two of their previous 25 Tests in which they have been rolled for less than 200 after batting in the first innings of the match – against Ireland at Lord’s in 2019 when they were skittled for 85 and versus Pakistan at The Kia Oval in 2006 when they were razed for 173.

Stats of the Day

– England’s total of 165 is their lowest against South Africa at Lord’s since they were dismissed for 110 in the 1998 Test.

– Kagiso Rabada took his 12th haul of five or more wickets, his fourth against England and his first at Lord’s. The last South African with a five-wicket haul at Lord’s was Vernon Philander, with 5-30 in the 2012 Test.

– A total of 194 bowlers have taken at least 100 Test wickets. Only one of them has a better strike rate than Rabada’s 40.4 balls per wicket, and that is George Lohmann, whose 112 wickets came at a strike rate of 34.1.

Kagiso Rabada celebrates after dismissing James Anderson to complete his 12th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and first at Lord’s

– James Anderson is playing his 27th Test at Lord’s, which equals Mahela Jayawardena’s record of 27 Tests at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo.

– When he dismissed Kyle Verreynne, Stuart Broad took his 100th Test wicket at Lord’s. Only James Anderson (at Lord’s), Rangana Herath (at Galle) and Muttiah Muralitharan (at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Kandy, and Galle) had previously taken at least 100 Test wickets on a single ground.

Watch day three of the LV= Insurance first Test between England and South Africa, at Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday. Coverage starts at 10.15am, with play getting under way at 11am.

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