Alastair Cook made sure England do not throw away the position of advantage and the opening batsman actually strengthen his team’s position in the opening Test against South Africa at Lord’s. The former England captain scored unbeaten 59 to take England’s lead past 200 after they bowled out South Africa for 361 runs in the first innings and took a 97-run lead.
South Africa, who have not lost a Test match at Lord’s since 1960, may see that record go down as England, who finished the day’s play at 119/1, still have nine wickets in hand with two more days to play.
England could have taken a stronger hold of the match but Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander scored half-centuries to bring down the deficit below 100 runs. Moeen Ali took a four-for on a hot and slow day at Lord’s.
Cook made sure England get a good start in the second innings as he decided to play the anchor role. Balls outside the off-stump were left alone and the opener took his time to score runs. Keaton Jennings edged Morne Morkel to wicket-keeper De Kock after making 33 but Garry Balance stood firm with Cook until close of play and made 22 runs.
Earlier, South Africa were helped by a 36-ball 55 from De Kock who hit 10 fours as well. He was looking in good touch but a low catch from Ben Stokes ended his innings.
Philander then took over the innings and scored some quick runs despite being struck on the hand from Jimmy Anderson delivery. He later went for X-ray but it did not show any broken bone though he did not return until late in final session and was not called to bowl.
Temba Vavuma and Rabada began the day for South Africa and played out first 10 overs before they were dismissed by spinners Liam Dawson and Moeen in consecutive overs. Bavuma made 59 off 130 balls and was part of funny incident where he went in the wrong direction while walking back to the pavilion.