Joe Root has a rich seam to mine in second Test

Ross Houston
July 16, 2017

James Anderson took four quick wickets to bowl South Africa out on the second morning at Trent Bridge and picked a yet another 5-wicket haul in Test cricket.

England captain Joe Root says it was beneficial having predecessor Alastair Cook on the field with him during his first Test as skipper. South Africa seamer Chris Morris:"The wicket has a bit of juice in it, a bit of seam ... so depending on overhead conditions, 200 could be enough on the right day".

The steady start to their second innings meant South Africa led by 205 runs at the close and England would have been glad to get off and start fresh today.

Keaton Jennings is doing little to confirm himself as Cook's long-term opening partner and he nicked Morne Morkel to De Kock for a duck.

Liam Dawson used a review to earn a reprieve after being given out off one he got nowhere near but he couldn't stick it out, playing the worst shot of the day to spoon a simple catch up to Hashim Amla off Maharaj.

The past two days used to be called an even contest, bat versus ball, the very basis of Test match cricket but over time with the demands of broadcasters and accountants it became imperative for a match to last the full duration regardless of result or quality.

England needed much more, though, and it was not forthcoming as Keshav Maharaj (3-21) and Chris Morris (3-38) did much of the damage.

Root counter-attacked by hitting Philander for three fours in an over.

Maharaj found extra bounce to have Ben Stokes (0) caught by wicketkeeper De Kock after a juggle, and after a review to check the ball hadn't clipped De Kock's helmet before he completed the catch.

Root reached his half-century in the final over before lunch, getting there off just 40 balls thanks to nine fours, and improved his scoring rate to over a run-a-ball on the resumption despite testing spells from Philander and Morkel. However awful South Africa were at Lord's, they have their captain back now and they certainly won't want to repeat such a chastening experience.

Root led from the front at Lord's, with his first-innings 190 laying the foundations for a 211-run victory over South Africa.

Elgar and Amla, who made 78 on Friday, pressed home the advantage with an unbroken stand of 57 after Heino Kuhn fell cheaply. In reply, South Africa lost only one wicket and are placed at 75 for 1.

England's torrid time with reviews continued as they tried to challenge another LBW decision in the first over of the second session. From South Africa's perspective, they will bat for as long as possible on Day Three and try to push England completely out of the game.

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