England in South Africa: Tourists fight back with ball to end day two on top

England in South Africa: Tourists fight back with ball to end day two on top

Sam Curran removed key man Rassie van der Dussen thanks to another superb Ben Stokes catch
Second Test, Newlands, Cape Town (day two of five):
England 269: Pope 61*; Rabada 3-68
South Africa 215-8: Elgar 88, Van der Dussen 68; Anderson 3-34
South Africa trail by 54 runs

England fought back with the ball against South Africa to end day two on top in the second Test in Cape Town.

The Proteas slipped to 40-3 in reply to England’s 269 all out in the morning.

Dean Elgar (88) and Rassie van der Dussen (68) put on a fine stand of 117 as the tourists failed to take a wicket in a frustrating afternoon session.

But England took five wickets after tea to leave South Africa 215-8, trailing by 54 runs and needing to bat last on a pitch already showing signs of wear.

Stuart Broad (2-36) and James Anderson (3-34) starred once again, while Sam Curran (2-39) also picked up two vital wickets and Ben Stokes took four superb slip catches.

The Proteas are 1-0 up in the four-Test series.

England’s patience rewarded

With Elgar and Van der Dussen carefully compiling throughout the afternoon, England looked in danger of drifting through another punishing day in the field in an overseas Test without much to show for their efforts.

Yet instead of overusing peculiar fields and trying to bounce batsmen out, the tourists stuck to a mainly orthodox approach, testing the batsmen’s technique around off stump, and got their rewards.

Granted, they were assisted by errors from Elgar and Quinton de Kock, both caught attempting needless lofted shots, but England were ruthless once they had exposed the lower order.

Curran got Van der Dussen to chase one that just left him and nick it to Stokes, who dropped an easier chance to remove Dwaine Pretorius but made amends two balls later with another excellent low catch off Anderson.

Anderson then dismissed Keshav Maharaj, inside edging into his pads to loop to third slip, with what turned out to be the final ball of the day. It leaves England in sight of a potentially decisive first-innings lead.

The day had begun in similarly fine fashion for England’s bowlers, with the superb Broad and Anderson once again restoring their side’s advantage after a disappointing batting performance.

Broad bowled quickly and moved the ball away off the seam to dismiss opener Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza, while Anderson returned after an innocuous first spell to remove South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

More to follow.

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