Ricochet News

Proteas, England both weighed in contributions on day one at The Oval

By Marc Jacobson - Jul 28, 2017
Proteas, England both weighed in contributions on day one at The Oval

With the Series levelled 1-1, following an exemplary 345-run win at Trent Bridge last week, saw the Proteas with the return of captaincy pivot Faf du Plessis, ease past England to mark a statement for the third Test at The Oval in London, which began on Thursday.

South Africa got off to an exhilarating start evidenced as continuous flow from their bowling prowess shown in their second bowling spell from the second Test, when Vernon Philander picked off SA-born Keaton Jennings for a duck from fine swing movement, which was captured at slip.

Relative wickets consistently fell as the innings grew on in a rain-affected day, but momentum still rooted England’s innings through a stern showing by Alastair Cook who amassed 82 not out at the close.

Cook was partnered well by mid-order constraint, Ben Stokes, as the two ended the day with an unbeaten 51-run partnership. Stokes finished with 21 not out.

Earlier in their innings, Cook also batted to a hopeful 52-run partnership with Tom Westley, before Chris Morris dismissed Westley when the debutant thick edged the ball and was caught in the slips for 25.

Batting credits aside, Philander then bowled an exceptional shorter delivery on off-stump, as captain and danger man, Joe Root, edged the delivery to be exceptionally single-handily caught by Quinton de Kock for 29.

Just five overs later, Kagiso Rabada then threw in his grant, as he beamed an aggressive Yorker, which knocked other SA-born Dawid Malan off his feet and bowled his middle stump for just one run.

Rabada was suspended in the second Test, due to language misconduct committed in the first Test, but that wicket allowed him to stay cool and collected from overjoy.

"It's really simple: don't swear, but just be yourself. I don't have any bad intentions. We talk off the field, myself and Stokes and the other players." Rabada told the media after the day’s play.

"I don't think I'll stop the way I'm playing, I'll just follow the rules," he added.

Meanwhile, Philander’s recent successes with the ball earned him the second best Test bowling average since 2011 of 22.21 in 45 matches, just behind fellow South African Dale Steyn’s 21.10 average in 39 matches.

Profoundly, the top two are both from SA, and now rising star himself, Rabada, took a moment to laud Philander’s figures of 2/17 on day one and his ability to get the better of England’s batters.

"I thought he bowled so well, going off the field, I asked him for a few pointers,” Rabada expressed.

“He is a really skillful bowler, especially in these conditions. He makes it look really simple," he added.

England finished the day’s play with 171/4 after 59 overs, and it will be much to everyone’s enticement to witness which side gains the initial ascendency on day two, with both sides having laid a platform to play off of after the first day, and that is, of course if rain does not disturb play in the middle as the game continues. Play resumes at 12:00 (SA time).   

Image: Dawid Malan looks on after being swept off his feet by Kagiso Rabada's yorker.