In the first day of the first Test between England and South Africa, Joe Root dominated the visitor’s bowler. The players remained not out throughout the day playing more than 80 overs. It is his first assignment as the test captain of the team. Root played 227 balls to score an unbeaten 184 runs. South Africa bowled 87 overs with a couple of opening wickets. However, the team remained largely dominated by England players. It was Vernon Philander, who initiated the early attack on England. The fast bowler knocked down Alastair Cook in the first ball of the fourth over. His next attack was on Keaton Jennings after 13 balls. Philander also trapped Jonny Bairstow in the 23rd over.
South Africa missed Root’s wicket several times. He was also stumped in a no ball off Keshav Maharaj when he was at 149. There were two hefty partnerships in the day. The Root-Stokes and Root-Ali stretches. Ben Stokes scored 58 in the inning playing 108 balls, while, Moeen Ali remained unbeaten scoring 61 off 105 balls. England trickled runs at the rate of 4.1 per over in the inning.
No balls definitely took a dig on South Africa. Stokes was also dismissed in a no ball off Morne Morkel. It was Kagiso Rabada, who remained just at the threshold of taking wickets throughout the inning. It was in his overs when Root was relieved of two strong appeals on 5 and 16. Rabada bowled 23 overs at an economy of 4.08 taking Stokes’ wicket. After Stokes, Root and Moeen Ali added 166 as the day’s last partnership. In seven overs, the players scored 38 runs.
Vernon Philander achieved the best bowling figures in the match. However, the dismissals of Keaton Jennings seemed erroneous as suggested as Hawk’s eye. England was 76 for 4 before the long partnership stretches. Stokes’ wicket was hardly a success as it brought the unbeaten pairing up between Ali and Root. Both will start the next day as overnight batsmen.
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