South Africa's Vernon Philander celebrates the wicket of England captain Joe Root with team-mate Aiden Markram during the first Test at Centurion in Pretoria on Friday. Photo: Themba Hadebe/AP
South Africa's Vernon Philander celebrates the wicket of England captain Joe Root with team-mate Aiden Markram during the first Test at Centurion in Pretoria on Friday. Photo: Themba Hadebe/AP

Philander puts Proteas on the front foot in first Test

By Ockert de Villiers at the SuperSport Park Time of article published Dec 27, 2019

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Day 2 of 5:
South Africa 284 and 72/4
England 181

PRETORIA – Vernon Philander produced pin-point accurate frontline bowling to give South Africa the edge on the second day of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park on Friday. 

He played a leading role in England's first-innings demise for 181 runs giving South Africa a 103-run lead.

The Proteas claimed a 175 lead after the second day in which a total of 15 wickets fell with the advantage seesawing throughout the two days.

South Africa made another topsy turvy start with the bat in the second innings with opener Aiden Markram (2) losing his wicket on only the fifth delivery from Jimmy Anderson. 

Zubayr Hamza (4) and Dean Elgar (22) lost their wickets in quick succession leaving South Africa again treading water on 29 for three. 

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis launched a mini fightback with Rassie van der Dussen with the duo combining for a partnership of 33 runs. 

Du Plessis' promising innings of 20 off 28 balls came to a crashing end with the SA captain pulling a Joffra Archer ball down Sam Curran's throat at backward square. 

Anrich Nortje was sent in to assist Van der Dussen as nightwatchman with the duo steering the ship safely at stumps. 

Van der Dussen walked back to the dugout 17 undefeated with Nortje doing well to hold on to his wicket with four runs to his name.

Earlier, South African spearhead Philander bowled an impressive inning of 4 for 16 off 14.2 overs which included eight maiden overs. Philander was well supported by Kagiso Rabada finishing the innings with 3/68 off 15.

Debutant Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje caused some severe damage to the English batting lineup taking three wickets between them during the second spell.

England could not get a foothold in their reply to South Africa's first-innings 284. 

England limped to a 157 for six at the tea break after Rabada and Philander laid the groundwork for the new seam bowling duo of Pretorius and Nortje. 

Joe Denly was the only England batsman that managed to get stuck in scoring 50 runs off 111 deliveries before Pretorius induced the edge which carried to the keeper. 

Denly and Ben Stokes combined for a 72-run partnership before Pretorius got his first wicket on Test debut. 

Nortje, who has initially battled bowling at Stokes and Denly, finally got his breakthrough dismantling new man Jonny Bairstow's (1) wickets. 

He struck again in his next over with Stokes edging the ball to the keeper leaving England in trouble on 150 for six.

Philander and Rabada picked off the rest of the England tail to swing the advantage back in the Proteas' favour.

IOL Sport

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