South Africa firmly in control versus England
A breezy 72-run stand between Marco Jansen (41 batting) and Keshav Maharaj (41) after opener Sarel Erwee’s 73 helped South Africa move into ascendancy on Day II of the first Test versus England at Lord’s.
At stumps on Thursday, South Africa were 289 for 7 in reply to England’s paltry first-innings total of 165, already having extended their lead to 124.
Kagiso Rabada, who finished with superb figures of 5/52, was batting on 3 along with Jansen. South Africa seemed to be losing the plot a little after tea on Thursday, slipping to 210 for 6 in spite of being solidly placed at 160 for 2.
Skipper Ben Stokes eked out the key wicket of the well-set Erwee before dismissing Rassie van der Dussen, helping England stage a fightback.
But young seamer all-rounder Jansen and leftarm spinner Maharaj threw caution to the winds and executed their strokes wonderfully. The duo’s approach out in the middle had a striking similarity with England’s much-treasured ‘Bazball’, which they have failed to play so far in this Test.
Jansen and Maharaj stitched that 72-run seventh-wicket partnership in just 12.3 overs, which could go on to be crucial in terms of the game’s outcome. England could finally see the back of Maharaj as he perished at mid-wicket, with Stokes picking up his third wicket.
Captain Dean Elgar was the first wicket to fall for the Proteas in somewhat fortuitous circumstances for England when a James Anderson delivery struck him on the thigh pad and ricocheted off his arm and back onto the stumps.
No.3 batsman Keegan Petersen scored 24 and put on 53 for the second wicket with Erwee before he went too hard with his hands and edged to Jonny Bairstow at third slip off seamer Matthew Potts’ bowling. The South African batsmen so far have certainly shown better application with the bat than their English counterparts.