It was a see saw battle as honours were shared on the first day of the first Test match played between England and South Africa at Super Sport Park, Centurion on Thursday.
England captain Joe Root won the toss and decided to field first. The decision paid off as James Anderson got the wicket of Dean Elgar off the very 1st ball with tickle down the leg. Aiden Markram showed his class with aggressive stroke play which put the England bowlers under pressure. Sam Curran got rid of Markram for 20. Markram and Hamza added 32 runs for the 2nd wicket. At the end of first hour, South Africa were 39 for 2.
After the drinks break, Hamza and South African captain Faf du Plessis looked compact with their defence, also hitting bad balls away for boundaries. Few minutes before the lunch break, Stuart Broad struck to dismiss Zubayr Hamza for 39. Hamza and du Plessis added 39 runs for the 3rd wicket. At lunch, South Africa were 79 for 3.
South African debutant Van der Dussen looked composed but was dismissed by Sam Curran after the lunch break for just 6. Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Sam Curran, bowled with consistent line and length. Stuart Broad got rid of South African captain Faf du Plessis with a good catch by Joe Root at slips. Quinton de Kock came to the crease and played with positive intent putting pressure on England bowlers. De Kock survived few chances but continued to hit attacking strokes. Making his Test debut, Pretorius showed his class hitting big shots against part time bowler Joe Root. De Kock reached his fifty off just 45 balls. South Africa ended the 2nd session at 187 for 5 with de Kock and Pretorius at the crease.
In the third session, Sam Curran produced the breakthrough for England dismissing Pretorius for well made 33. De Kock and Pretorius added 87 runs for the 6th wicket. Vernon Philander came to the crease and survived few anxious moments. De Kock impressed with his stroke play and put pressure on England bowlers and was finally dismissed for well made 95. De Kock and Vernon Philander added 47 runs for the 7th wicket. Jofra Archer got his first wicket dismissing Keshav Maharaj for 6. Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada added 25 runs for the 9th wicket. England took the 2nd new ball immediately after the 80th over. Stuart Broad produce a beauty to dismiss Rabada. From 111 for 5, South Africa recovered to 277 for 9.
South Africa 277 for 9 in 82.4 overs (Quinton de Kock 95, Zubayr Hamza 39, Sam Curran 4/57, Stuart Broad 3/52)