England vs South Africa, Second Test, Day Two: Tourists in firm control as England batsmen suffer

The hosts were bowled out for just 205 in response to South Africa's 335.

England vs South Africa, Second Test, Day Two: Tourists in firm control as England batsmen suffer
England reflect on a dismal day at the office (photo: Getty Images/Philip Brown)

England have it all to do if they want to save the second Test match as a batting collapse left the hosts 205 runs behind going into day three at Trent Bridge.

4-4 from Anderson dismisses South Africa early in the opening session

England started the day in excellent form, taking early wickets with the ball swinging under cloudy conditions. Vernon Philander and Chris Morris could not add to the damage they created the previous evening as the former was dismissed by James Anderson for 54.

Unsurprisingly in the conditions, England's premier swing bowler went on to dominate proceedings. Anderson picked up three more wickets to finish with figures of 5-72 as South Africa crumbled from 309-6 to 335 all out.

Root steadies the England ship

The tourists picked up two quick wickets in their response as both England bowlers fell before their side had reached double figures. Yet a lack of consistent line and length allowed Joe Root and Gary Ballance to pick boundaries off with ease as the hosts formulated a response.

Root added another milestone to his impressive career, making the fastest 50 from an England captain in just 40 balls. Yet Ballance fell to Philander facing his first ball after lunch, a repeat of what happened to Philander himself when resuming play in the morning.

England collapse to a weak 205

At 143-3, England were still very much in the contest until their main man was dismissed. Captain Root flashed at a wide delivery from Chris Morris and edged behind to fall for 78.

That sparked a severe collapse for England who lost seven wickets for just 62 runs, including dismissals in consecutive balls to Morris. Only Jonny Bairstow, with a score of 45, showed any sort of resistance as Keshav Maharaj got the ball to turn in the process of picking up three wickets.

From a batting perspective, it was a variety of wickets that fell. Ben Stokes may feel unlucky after edging Maharaj onto his pads and into the grasp of Quinton de Kock. Yet the likes of Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson will be disappointed at the ease they were dismissed in such a challenging position after inexplicably swinging the bat at average deliveries. It left South Africa 130 ahead as England were bowled out for just 205.

South Africa extend their advantage before the close of play

James Anderson would have been perked up by the ball swinging under the spell of Morris and he found a breakthrough in just his fourth over. Heino Kuhn fell for just eight as England tried to spark a response.

Yet Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla held firm to add 57 between the fall of the wicket and the end of play. It left the tourists 75-1 and 205 ahead at the close of play.


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