England started the third test of the Investec Trophy with a strike from Alastair Cook. It was as if a comeback of England’s top order after a hiatus in the series. The match was disturbed by rain but England managed a decent figure of 171. The only trouble in the inning was its wickets, which slogged with four caps. With the top order removed, Alastair Cook finished the day remaining unbeaten with a strike of 82. The former captain was disciplined and well formed in his strike as he reached 12,000 runs in the format. It was the 100th Test match in Oval.
In the beginning, England reeled under South Africa’s attack. The partnership between Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes came up after the early breakdown. The team plummeted to 120 for 4, after which, the steady partnership breathe life to the inning. Cook and Stokes brought 51 runs. Stokes was back in form that was absent in Trent Bridge. Throughout the day, Vernon Philander bowled with sheer ingenuity. However, it was on his delivery that Cook struck the half century. It is a comeback for Cook, hitting the first half century in first inning since more than a year. Cook survived an lbw from Chris Morris on 28.
Cook played throughout the day as the opener, partnering with the following batsmen down the line. The first wicket of the team fell in the fourth over. Philander claimed Keaton Jennings’ wicket ducking the batsman. The next wickets of Joe Root and Tom Westley was cleared up by the afternoon session.
Chris Morris took down Westley with a catch at the second slip. The batsman scored 25 hammering 5 fours in the stretch. Philander removed Joe Root in the afternoon session. The next wicket was of Dawid Malan, the debutant. He was dismissed at the Yorker from Kagiso Rabada. In the first 22 overs England scored 62 runs. Rabada and Morne Morkel became more aggressive after the lunch.
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