Topsy-turvy: Rabada-Morris stand takes shine off England’s day

South Africa 267-7 at stumps despite pair’s unbeaten 42-run stand for the eighth wicket


News Desk January 14, 2016
Amla would be disappointed at getting out for 40, albeit off a scorcher from Finn, after doing all the hard work and getting set. PHOTO: AFP

A stubborn eighth-wicket partnership between Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris took South Africa to 267-7 at stumps after the England bowlers had chipped away at the hosts’ middle order with some probing bowling.

South Africa got off to a good start and were cruising along at 117-1 before the middle order gave away, with wickets falling at regular intervals as the hosts lost six wickets for 108 runs.

Newly-instated skipper AB de Villiers had opted to bat first on what had looked like a seaming track but it proved to be the right decision as the Proteas batsmen managed to negotiate the early movement with relative comfort.

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What would have been particularly frustrating for them though was the way almost every batsman got off to starts — with Faf du Plessis’ 16 off 57 balls being the lowest score — but none of them managed to cash in on them. Opener Dean Elgar’s 46 off 122 balls was the highest score of the lot as no batsman reached the half-century mark.

England’s frontline seamer James Anderson was the only bowler to go wicketless, with pacers Steven Finn (2-50) and Ben Stokes (2-53) taking a couple of wickets apiece.

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However, Rabada and Morris removed some of the gloss for the visitors with a superb fighting 42-run stand that also saw off the new ball.

England would still be very happy with their day’s work but would be looking to wrap up the tail quickly in the morning, especially before the 300-run mark.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2016.

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