LONDON: South Africa quicks Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje did the damage as England slumped to 116-6 before heavy rain forced an early end to the opening day of the firstTest at Lord’s on...
LONDON: South Africa quicks Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje did the damage as England slumped to 116-6 before heavy rain forced an early end to the opening day of the first
Test at Lord’s on Wednesday.
Rabada, passed fit following an ankle injury, removed openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley early on during a return of 2-36 in 12 overs.
And Nortje, one of eight South Africans playing their first Test in England, grabbed three wickets, including the scalp of home captain Ben Stokes.
Only Ollie Pope, with an unbeaten 61, offered prolonged resistance before rain arrived half an hour after lunch, turning into a downpour that left the outfield saturated.
Following weeks of searing temperatures in England, Wednesday’s bad weather meant only 32 overs were possible before the players left the field early in the second session.
But that was still long enough for the Proteas’ pace attack to rip through England’s top order.
The home side came into the game with a perfect record of four wins from as many Tests under their new leadership pairing of Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
All of those victories had been achieved by chasing down targets in the fourth innings, something that cannot happen in this match after South Africa captain Dean Elgar won the toss and fielded on a green-tinged pitch under overcast skies.
Elgar’s doubts over whether England could maintain their aggressive approach with the bat against an attack that has helped South Africa climb to the top of the World Test Championship table were soon justified.
Spearhead fast bowler Rabada, 27, had left-hander Lees caught behind for five and removed struggling fellow opener Crawley for nine after he nicked a ball that nipped away low to Aiden Markram at second slip.
Crawley’s exit left him with a lowly Test average for a specialist batsman of 26 from 47 innings.
Star batsman Joe Root was powerless to stop the rot, the former England captain lbw for eight to a huge inswinger from towering left-arm paceman Marco Jansen.
Root reviewed Indian umpire Nitin Menon’s decision but replays indicated the ball would have clipped leg stump.
South Africa won the toss
England 1st Innings
Lees c Verreynne b Rabada 5
Crawley c Markram b Rabada 9
Pope not out 61
Root lbw b Jansen 8
Bairstow b Nortje 0
Stokes c Petersen b Nortje 20
Foakes b Nortje 6
Broad not out 0
Extras: (lb7) 7
Total: (6 wkts, 32 overs) 116
To bat: M Potts, J Leach, J Anderson
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Lees), 2-25 (Crawley), 3-42 (Root), 4-55 (Bairstow), 5-100 (Stokes), 6-116 (Foakes)
Bowling: Rabada 12-1-36-2; Ngidi 5-1-12-0; Jansen 6-1-18-1; Nortje 9-1-43-3
South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt), Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi
Umpires: Nitin Menon (IND), Richard Illingworth (ENG)