Root, Stokes punish Proteas

2016-01-15 15:14
Joe Root (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Proteas remain in a strong position in the third Test against England in Johannesburg, but they will go into the final session on day two desperate to get rid of Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

At tea the visitors were 162/4, having lost Nick Compton (26) and James Taylor (7) in the session, but Root and Stokes were threatening to shift the momentum with a 69-run partnership in just 53 balls.


Having returned after lunch on 27/2, Compton and Root looked to recover. 

They did just that - their 50 partnership coming up off 91 balls. 

AB de Villiers had given the pair a lifeline when he dropped Compton off Morris in the 19th over at second slip. It was a tough chance as De Villiers launched himself to his left, but one that a man of his ability would have expected to take.

But South Africa had their breakthrough just four overs later when Compton again edged to the slips - this time off Rabada and this time to Dean Elgar, who made no mistake. 

Ross Taylor was next in and next out thanks to a superb piece of fielding from Temba Bavuma at short leg. 

Morne Morkel, with his tail up, crashed one in just short of a length that Taylor inside edged onto his pad. The ball moved at pace to Bavuma, who parried it skywards from above his head to take the catch comfortably when it returned at a much more manageable speed. 

That got the Proteas going, and at 91/4 they would have fancied their chances. 

Unfortunately for the hosts, Stokes was next in and in a mood. 

The England hero from Cape Town raced to a 50 partnership off just 35 with Root, who brought up his own half century - the first scored in the match - 10 minutes before tea. 

At the end of the session Root was 60* while Stokes was looking dangerous on 38*. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  kagiso rabada  |  joe root  |  ben stokes  |  cricket


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