Match on even keel in a rain curtailed day 1 of 4th Test

Picture Courtsey: Hindustan Times

It was an exciting day of play in a rain curtailed first day between England and South Africa played at Wanders, Johannesburg on Friday.

After the first session was washed out due to rain, England captain Joe Root won the toss and decided to bat first. Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley showed great patience against South African bowlers. Dom Sibley survived a shout for a catch. The umpire gave it out and on a review the decision was given not out. Vernon Philander got the breakthrough for South Africa by dismissing Sibley but the bowler overstepped. Sibley and Crawley took the advantage of bad bowling by South African pacers. Zak Crawley looked in superb touch with aggressive strokes and reached his fifty off 80 balls. England openers showed their class against South African pacers. Both openers took England to 100 for 0 at tea.

The debutant Beuran Hendricks got the breakthrough for South Africa dismissing Dom Sibley with a leg side tickle.  England openers added 107 runs. Vernon Philander struck for the hosts getting the wicket of Zak Crawley for 66. Joe Denly did not look comfortable with his stroke making as he was dropped on 4 and then on 25. Dane Paterson finally got out Denly for 27 at slips by Van der Dussen. Anrich Nortje got the big wicket of Ben Stokes for just 2 runs which bought back South Africa into the match.

England captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope steadied the ship with some lovely strokes from the last match centurion Pope. Nortje and Philander troubled England batsmen with pace and bounce. Both batsmen have added so far 35 runs for the 5th wicket before bad light stopped play. Despite the first session washed due to rain, the match has gone on a great speed. Vernon Philander, Nortje, Hendricks and Paterson have taken 1 wicket each.

England 192 for 4 in 54.2 overs ( Zak Crawley 66, Dom Sibley 44, Vernon Philander 1/37, Paterson 1/39)



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