Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Good England start interrupted by wickets

Reuters, CAPE TOWN

England captain Alistair Cook ducks under the ball during the first day of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

A good first two sessions for England were somewhat undone just before tea on the opening day of the second Test at Newlands yesterday.

England lost openers Alastair Cook and Alex Hales, but had made use of good batting conditions to move to 167-2 in the last over before tea, but then lost No. 3 Nick Compton, which brought an early end to the session.

A one-handed catch at third slip by rangy debutant bowler Chris Morris saw Cook depart for 27 runs off Kagiso Rabada’s bowling as two of South Africa’s three changes from the first Test combined to dismiss the England captain.

Alex Hales, playing just his second Test, made 60 before being caught by South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers in the slips from the bowling of Morne Morkel.

De Villiers dove in front of first slip from second to complete the catch.

Cook and Hales put on a 55-run partnership for the opening wicket.

Rabada picked up his second with a short delivery that Compton pulled to Temba Bavuma to be dismissed for 45.

The not out batman at tea was Joe Root, who was on 23.

Cook won the toss and elected to bat on a dry wicket with a bit of teasing bounce, but looking perfect for a long spell at the crease and a high-scoring innings.

England’s top wicket taker, James Anderson, returned to the side, replacing Chris Woakes after recovering from a calf strain that kept him out of the first Test in Durban, where England beat South Africa by 241 runs on Wednesday with just a two-day turnaround before the second Test.

“It’s tough on Woakes, but you can’t afford to leave put your best bowler if he is available,” Cook said before play started yesterday.

South Africa had already confirmed on the eve of the Test that the world’s No. 1 Test bowler Dale Steyn would not be playing, as he had not recovered from a shoulder injury, and that 20-year-old Rababa would take his place.

Before play on Saturday, Kyle Abbott was added to the list of fast bowling casualties, as he had not properly recovered from a hamstring strain and was replaced by debutant Chris Morris.

Quinton de Kock returned to the role of wicketkeeper in an effort to lessen the work load of talismanic De Villiers.

De Kock replaced J.P. Duminy, who was dropped after a long run without form.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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