Root knocks the wind out of Proteas

2016-01-15 16:49
Joe Root (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Joe Root's century has given England the upper hand in the third Test against the Proteas in Johannesburg. 

The players left the field at about 16:40 in the final session on day two due to bad light, but not before Root had gone to his ninth Test century off just 126 balls to swing the momentum in his side's favour.


Play was officially called off at around 17:15 after heavy showers began falling on the Wanderers turf. 

As a result, day three is due to start 30 minutes early at 10:00 on Saturday.

The Proteas had England at 91/4 at one stage, but a 111-run stand between Root and Ben Stokes changed the shape of the game dramatically. 

Stokes was eventually caught and bowled by Morne Morkel for 58 off just 54 balls, but much of the damage had been done. 

When play was stopped Root was 106* while Jonny Bairstow was at the other end on 4*.

The Root and Stokes partnership followed a 52-run stand between Root and Nick Compton - also a crucial period for the visitors after England had gone into lunch at 27/2. 

Kagiso Rabada and Hardus Viljoen - with his first ball in Test cricket - had done the damage for South Africa dismissing Alex Hales and Alastair Cook respectively, but Viljoen's next 10.5 overs saw him go wicketless for 57. 

Chris Morris (0/62 in 13) also struggled while Kagiso Rabada (2/44) and Morne Morkel (2/63) looked most dangerous for the hosts. 

England were still 75 runs behind South Africa's first innings score of 313, but with Root looking unflappable, Bairstow coming off the back of his first Test hundred in Cape Town and with Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad still to come, those runs might not be enough for the Proteas. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  joe root  |  ben stokes  |  johannesburg  |  cricket

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