England four down at lunch

2016-01-06 12:30
Alastair Cook and Alex Hales (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas have opened the door on what seemed a near impossible victory in the second Test against England at Newlands.

For wickets in the morning session left the visitors on 87/4 at lunch - a lead of 89 - with James Taylor (23*) and first innings hero Ben Stokes (2*) at the crease.

South Africa took three wickets in the first hour and then another just before tea as all four strike bowlers contributed. 


England had declared their first innings on 629/6 on Sunday before the Proteas responded with a patient, match-saving 627/7.  

With 13 wickets having fallen in four days of Test cricket, a draw appeared to be the only realistic result at the start of play on Wednesday. 

But the Proteas seam attack was devastating in the opening hour. 

Captain Alastair Cook was first to go, caught by Quinton de Kock down the leg side off Kagiso Rabada before Morne Morkel had Alex Hales caught superbly by Chris Morris in the slips. 

It was Morris' second blinding catch of the match, though this time his one-handed dive was with his more favoured right hand. 

Morkel then had Joe Root caught by AB de Villiers at second slip, but replays revealed that the Proteas quick had overstepped. 

Morris, though, had Root back in the hut with his first ball of the day - a beautifully shaped delivery that clean bowled the England danger-man. 

The Proteas almost had their next breakthrough when Rabada dropped Taylor on 22 in the 29th over - about 15 minutes before tea - off the bowling of Dane Piedt. 

Taylor had top-edged a sweep towards short fine leg and Rabada made excellent ground before diving forwards to take the catch. He took it cleanly, but the ball bobbled out of his hand as his elbow came crashing down on the ground. 

But Piedt had a wicket just an over later when Compton picked out Faf du Plessis at short mid-wicket. 

It came just at the right time for the home side, and if they can pick up a couple of quick wickets after lunch then surely anything is possible. 


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