Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla walk off at Trent Bridge at end of day two of the second Test against England.Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

ROOT RALLY

England 3/2, out bounds the new captain and he’s busy as soon as he gets to the crease.

A three off the hip, a single, a two, then three fours off Philander... so it continued as Root rapidly changed the course of morning’s play, which, until he got to the crease, had been dominated by the bowlers.

He reached 50 off 40 balls, the joint quickest Test half-century by an England captain.

While he was at the crease, England looked like matching South Africa’s total. When he got out, the game changed.

PHILANDER

A riveting battle with Root, which to be fair, the England skipper won.

But Philander was the most dangerous of South Africa’s bowlers, in conditions which suited him perfectly.

His length, with the odd exception, was impeccable, as was his line.

It felt like a wicket could come at any point with him on, and when you combine his two wickets in England’s first innings with the 54 runs he scored, he’s made a significant impact in this game.

JIMMY JIMMY

Anderson wouldn’t want to bowl anywhere else but Trent Bridge in the kind of conditions that hung over the ground yesterday.

He wrapped up the South African innings in 31 minutes and 16 balls, taking 4/4.

Anderson has picked up 59 wickets at Trent Bridge at an average of less than 20.

This venue, when it’s cloudy and with the cool breeze, suits him down to a tee.

CONDITIONS

Ideal for swing and seam bowling.

“Look up, not down,” is the way here and when it’s cloudy like it was yesterday, with a bit of drizzle about, batsmen face a challenge they rarely encounter in modern cricket.

Today some rain has been forecast for early in the morning, but that will clear and the sun is expected to shine.

That will please the SA batsmen for when the sun shines the pitch tends to play easier.

HE SAID

“The game’s gone, I’m sorry (but) England can’t win from here,” Geoffrey Boycott on the BBC’s Test Match Special. It was the fourth over of South Africa’s second innings and they were leading by 138 runs.


Sunday Tribune

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