Cape Town - Temba Bavuma and Theunis de Bruyn,
two of the least experienced men in the Proteas top order,
produced a fightback of skill and good temperament to revive their side from a
potential collapse on the second day of the first Test against England at
Lord’s in London on Friday.
Their stand of 99 for the fifth
wicket which was broken 10 minutes before stumps when De Bruyn was dismissed by
Jimmy Anderson mirrored the similar stand of 114 for the same wicket between
Joe Root and Ben Stokes to launch a similar England revival the previous day.
With Bavuma unbeaten on 48 (102
balls, 8 fours) accompanied by night watchman Kagiso Rabada with Quinton de
Kock still to bat, the Proteas finished the day on 214/5, still trailing by 244
runs but it was nevertheless a lot better than they were at 104/4 in the 37th
over shortly into the final session of play.
The first task is obviously to avoid
the follow on although it is unlikely that Root will explore that option with
the pitch already providing substantial assistance to the spinners from the second
day and the odd delivery keeping low as well, although admittedly large from
the bowler’s rough outside the line of the stumps. England are highly unlikely
to want to bat last in this match.
Bavuma again proved himself the man
for the crisis which has been the hallmark of his entire career.
Earlier the Proteas dismissed
England for 458 with all the wickets being shared by the three frontline seamers
and De Kock taking four catches.
The Proteas got the second day off
to the start they needed when Morkel claimed two wickets in three balls in the
fourth over of the morning including the key one of Root for 190 (234 balls, 27
fours and a six). It also put an end to the sixth wicket partnership of 177
Unfortunately, they then made a critical
error of judgment when they did not use one of their two available referrals
when Philander had an lbw appeal against Broad turned down. The TV replays gave
it three red lights and the reprieved Broad, on 4 at the time, went on to
become the fourth batsman in the innings to reach 50 as he rode his luck in a
Morkel and Philander both bowled in
the opening 10 overs of the day but it was Rabada who signalled that the end of
the innings was in sight when he also claimed two wickets in three balls, one
of them being Moeen Ali for 87 (147 balls, 8 fours and a six).
England went on to add 101 to their
overnight total inside 19 overs and Broad’s innings (57 not out off 47 balls, 8
fours and 2 sixes) enabled England to post a challenging total of 458 instead
of getting them out for below 400.
Elgar and Kuhn got through a testing
4 overs before lunch but the good start the Proteas wanted was not forthcoming
when Broad struck in his first over after lunch when he dismissed the debutant
with a good delivery that held its line down the slope to find the outside edge.
Elgar and Amla then started building
a solid foundation with their second-wicket stand of 72 before the latter
misjudged the turn down the slope from Ali to be trapped leg before wicket.
Nevertheless, the Proteas made 86/2 in the session which gave them at least a
half share of it, Elgar having reached his seventh career half-century (90
balls, 8 fours).
England appeared to have taken
decisive control shortly after tea when Broad and Ali got rid of Elgar and
Duminy in quick succession. Ali’s dismissal of Elgar was his 100th Test wicket to complete a notable double after he scored his 2 000th
run earlier in the match.
However, De Bruyn and Bavuma got the
Proteas innings back on to something approaching an even keel with a 99-run
partnership that mirrored the similar job Root and Stokes had done for England
the previous day.
De Bruyn (48 off 85 balls, 6 fours)
fell to Anderson just before the close with the Proteas still trailing by more
than 150 runs.