Anrich Nortje and Quinton de Kock are congratulated for getting the wicket of England captain Joe Root. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – South Africa grabbed the wickets of England captain Joe Root and Joe Denly to leave England four wickets down for 149 at tea on the opening day of the second test at Newlands on Friday.

Root picked up the run rate after lunch but was caught out off his gloves as he ducked into a vicious bouncer from Anrich Nortje to depart for 35 off 49 balls.

He had been dropped in the slips two balls earlier by Rassie van der Dussen but it did not prove costly for home side.

Ben Stokes, who hit a career-high 258 when he was last at the picturesque Cape Town ground four years ago, was 28 not out along with Ollie Pope (5), one of three changes to the tourists’ line-up after they lost the first test by 107 runs.

Denly (38) was bowled by a full delivery from spinner Keshav Maharaj that clipped the top of his off stump.

England, who won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket expected to be full of runs, lost Zak Crawley cheaply for four in the third over and Dom Sibley for 34 just before lunch.

Both were caught behind by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock as fast bowlers Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada claimed the first two wickets of the match.

The 21-year-old Crawley was making his second test appearance after being brought in to replace the injured Rory Burns, who hurt his ankle playing soccer on Thursday in the latest setback for England on a calamity-filled tour.

Pace bowler Jofra Archer was left out of the team after suffering an elbow injury and was due to go for further scans on Friday.

Reuters