Manchester, Aug 26 (IANS) Aided by fine pace bowling from stalwarts James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England demolished South Africa for a paltry 151 in 53.2 overs on Day 1 of the second Test, but the hosts also saw their top order being wiped out, with the Proteas restricting them to 111/3 at Old Trafford.
South Africa opted to bat first after winning the toss and soon found themselves in trouble, losing Sarel Erwee to Anderson — playing his 100th home Test — in the fifth over. Broad then went on to bowl a superb spell, dismissing Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen in quick succession to leave South Africa at 41/3.
Earlier, the visitors made a surprise call in the playing XI, bringing in a second spinner in Simon Harmer, replacing Marco Jansen, whose valuable contributions with the bat at Lord’s were missed later in the day.
South Africa were left with Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen, two batters not in the greatest run of form in red-ball cricket, to revive the innings. Skipper Ben Stokes ensured that wasn’t happening by dismissing the duo in back-to-back overs, according to ICC.
Markram top-edged a pull off Stokes in his very first over to be dismissed for 14. Van der Dussen was trapped in front in Stokes’ next over, missing a delivery that nipped back in sharply off the seam. After the lunch break, Anderson sent back Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj off successive deliveries to leave South Africa at 92/7. Broad soon sent back the last recognised batter in Kyle Verreynne to grab his 800th international wicket.
The Proteas needed the tail-enders to step up and Rabada led the fight with some counter-attacking shots. He was supported by a resolute Anrich Nortje, blocking off anything aimed at the stumps and leaving everything else.
The duo survived 12 overs till tea, putting up a partnership that frustrated England and gave the Proteas a glimmer of hope after an ordinary showing from the batting line-up. Ollie Robinson, though, struck immediately after tea, sending back Nortje and Rabada eventually miscued one slog to slips off Jack Leach to end South Africa’s innings.
South Africa struck back with the new ball with Lungi Ngidi sending back Alex Lees early on in the second over, the delivery jagging away off the seam to catch the edge. Nortje, who came in as first-change bowler, cleaned up Ollie Pope while Kagiso Rabada sent back Joe Root for his third successive single-digit score in the series.
At 43/3, England’s batting looked vulnerable yet again before Jonny Bairstow pulled things back in the company of a gritty Zak Crawley. The unbeaten 68-run stand came off 88 balls and helped England reduce the deficit considerably by stumps.
Brief scores: South Africa 151 in 53.2 overs (Kagiso Rabada 36; James Anderson 3/32, Stuart Broad 3/37, Ben Stokes 2/17) vs England 111/3 in 28 overs (Jonny Bairstow 38 not out).