South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock celebrates reaching 50 runs during the first test between England and South Africa at Lord's. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Quintessentially Quinton - South Africa’s wicketkeeper produced a stunning counter-attack in the morning, hitting a 36-ball half century - the second fastest Test fifty recorded at this venue.

He took a particular liking to Stuart Broad carving through the off-side, straight down the ground and over his favourite midwicket region, doing the England bowler’s figures some severe damage when he took the second new ball. Another hour of De Kock batting could have significantly changed the momentum.

CATCH - The reason De Kock didn’t have more time at the crease was thanks to a fine catch by Stokes fielding at a short cover position (some nifty positioning by skipper Joe Root). Stokes, a top athlete, got down rapidly, to his right and scooped the ball just inches above the ground.

BALLS - Another excellent display from Morkel bowling from the Pavilion End in which he cut Jennings to shreds. Morkel’s line was superb, as he got the ball flying across the left-hander but in such a manner that Jennings was forced to play.

The pressure built and built and Jennings succumbed, pushing nervously at one ball and getting an inside edge through to the ‘keeper

HERO - Vernon Philander copped some nasty blows, the most significant of which was from Anderson which prevented him playing any part with the ball in the evening.

He was also struck on the inner thigh by Wood and probably got another bruise there too. Under the circumstances his 51 was a courageous effort and he showed a lot of skill too, sharing some vital partnerships with De Kock and Morkel.

VILLAIN - The ICC. Look, Rabada on that merit system by which they measure disciplinary breaches had to be punished but it seems silly to rob this series of one its star players because he swore.

The England players didn’t seem bothered, nor the umpires and only some precious folks watching on SkySports were offended. As former England fast bowler Mike Selvy said in a tweet: “Get rid of swearing and you get rid of every fast bowler who ever lived.”

CONDITIONS - This is a dry pitch which is spinning a lot. More warm weather has been forecast for today, which will only dry it out further. It’s not going to be easy batting last.

QUOTE - “It’s like mothers with their children: there’s got to be a line somewhere. I’m sorry; [Rabada is] a lovely cricketer and I’d like to see him at Trent Bridge. But it’s his own fault.” - Geoffrey Boycott commentating for the BBC Test Match Special shares his thoughts on Rabada and swearing and all of that. 

Sunday Tribune

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