Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada puts South Africa in a commanding position on day 2

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Picture Courtsey: Herlad

Thanks to a bowling masterclass by Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada, South Africa have ended the 2nd day of the 1st Test in a commanding position played at Super Sports Park, Centurion on Friday.

Starting on the overnight score 277 for 9, Vernon Philander was dismissed with a review. The umpire gave it out and on review the umpire decided to retain the decision as out . South Africa were bowled out for 284 in the first innings.

The start for the England team could have been worse as Rory Burns was given out on the first ball of the innings. He decided to review the decision and the umpire had to overturn its decision to not out. Vernon Philander bowled with consistent line and length to get rid off Rory Burns. Kagiso Rabada dismissed Dom Sibley to put England under pressure at 15 for 2. Joe Denly was dropped by Van der Dussen at slips on 0. Joe Root struggled against top quality bowling but remained positive against Nortje and Pretorius. At lunch, England were 60 for 2.

After the lunch break, Vernon Philander struck to dismiss England captain Joe Root for 29. Root and Denly added 55 runs for the 3rd wicket. Ben Stokes came to the crease and took time to settle before taking on the South African bowlers especially Keshav Maharaj. Denly looked composed with his stroke play to reach his fifty off 108 balls. Dwayne Pretorius picked his maiden Test wicket with a review from the South African captain Faf du Plessis. On a review there was an inside edge and umpire had to overturn its decision to out. Denly and Stokes added 72 runs for the 4th wicket. Nortje bowled consistent line and lengths dismissing Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes in quick succession to leave England in big trouble at 150 for 6. At the end of 2nd session, England were 157 for 6.

In the 3rd session, Vernon Philander and Rabada bowled out England for 181 runs in their first innings to get a lead of 103 runs lead. It was an ideal start for the visitors as James Anderson got the wicket of Aiden Markram with an in-swinging delivery. The umpire gave it out and Markram decided to review it, the decision stood it out. Dean Elgar played some lovely strokes which put England bowlers under pressure. Stuart Broad got the wicket of Hamza with a tickle down the leg. Hamza and Elgar added 23 runs for the 2nd wicket.

A good catch by Jos Buttler helped England reduce South Africa to 29 for 3.   Faf du Plessis and Van der Dussen played attacking strokes which created pressure on the England bowlers . Van der Dussen survived a chance as the catch went into the slips as Ben Stokes caught but the ball did not go into hands. Jofra Archer got rid of Faf du Plessis with bouncer which went into hands of Sam Curran. Van der Dussen and Faf added 33 runs for the 4th wicket. Anrich Nortje came to the crease and survived against good quality bowling. South Africa ended the 2nd day on 72 for 4 with a lead of 175 runs.

With the pitch having uneven bounce, it is going to big ask for the England team to put the South African team under pressure.

South Africa 284 in 84.3 overs ( Quinton de Kock 95, Hamza 39, Stuart Broad 4/58, Sam Curran 4/58) and 72 for 4 in 20 overs ( Dean Elgar 22, Faf du Plessis 20, Jofra Archer 2/37) lead England 181 in 52 overs ( Joe Denly 50, Ben Stokes 35, Vernon Philander 4/16, Kagiso Rabada 3/68) by 175 runs.

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