South Africa v England second Test day one report and scorecard: Ollie Pope fights back with half-century

Ollie Pope fought hard for England
Ollie Pope fought hard for England

England slumped to an underwhelming 262 for nine on day one of the second Test against South Africa, another disappointing entry in a tour that is lurching from bad to worse.

Day One Scorecard

England first Innings: 262-9 all out (Pope 56*, Stokes 47; Pretorious 2-26, Philander 2-46, Nortje 2-54, Rabada 2-63)

England won the toss and elected to bat


After a heavy defeat in the series opener at Centurion and two injury blows in the last 24 hours, captain Joe Root must have hoped his luck was turning when he won the toss and opted to bat on a friendlier looking surface.

England have talked tirelessly about the importance of big first-innings runs but under-delivered once again in Cape Town, with Ollie Pope's unbeaten 56 the high point of an otherwise unimpressive showing.

If losing pace spearhead Jofra Archer to an elbow problem goes down as bad luck and Rory Burns' football injury represents a self-inflicted wound, then the opening day at a packed Newlands was a simple a case of being outplayed.

Anrich Nortje was the pick of the bowlers, sending back Root (35) with a brute of a bouncer and drawing a tame dismissal from Ben Stokes (47) at the site of his career-best 258 four years ago.

Root was always likely to bat first, burned by the opposite decision last week and presented with a more benign surface, but a rookie opening partnership of Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley, the latter deputising for Burns, always looked vulnerable.

Vernon Philander needed just two overs with a fresh Kookaburra ball to knock off Crawley, who nicked the latest in a sequence of delicious away-cutters with just four to his name.

Sibley and Joe Denly responded with a battling partnership of 55 - a survivalist's stand that would have raised English spirits had Sibley not edged Kagiso Rabada just before the break to make it 67 for two at lunch.

Root had been hit in the chest with the third ball of his innings but scored briskly at the start of the second session, overtaking Denly, who was marooned on 21 for 48 deliveries.

Nortje was the man to drag it back for South Africa, cracking Denly on the back of the helmet then taking Root's outside edge on 31.

Rassie Van Der Dussen parried the head-high chance for four but two balls later Nortje flung down a 90mph bouncer that thumped the glove and looped to Quinton De Kock, Root having left his top hand in harm's way as he crouched to avoid contact.

Denly was next to go for 38, losing his off stump to Keshav Maharaj after leaving a yawning gap in his defence. England needed a major partnership if they were to transfer any kind of meaningful pressure back on to the hosts and in Stokes and Pope they at least had batsmen with enough range to oblige.

Pope got going with a couple of pleasing blows, one through cover then another eased beyond midwicket, before Stokes asserted his 'alpha' credentials.

After showing Maharaj plenty of respect he finally found a delivery to his liking, skipping forward and launching a towering six down ground.

When Nortje attempted to put Stokes back in his box, surprising him with a lifter from round the wicket, the all-rounder promptly readjusted and punched to the extra-cover ropes.

By the time Maharaj lost his length and saw a long-hop flogged for four more it seemed as though Stokes was in the mood to take hold of proceedings. And then, just as quickly, he was gone.

Nortje landed the prize with a ball that should have been too full and too wide to cause grief, but Stokes only half-committed as he pinged to Dean Elgar at cover.

Stokes covered his eyes as he departed, shielding himself from either the South African celebrations or the big screen replays. Jos Buttler's entertaining 29 offered brief respite before his positioning let him down, and the next three wickets fell in a heap around Pope.

Sam Curran left a Dwaine Pretorius ball that sent off stump flying, Dom Bess bagged a golden duck on his Test recall and Stuart Broad accidentally jammed bat against pad to be cleaned up by Rabada.

James Anderson hung around long enough to see Pope past 50, with England's innings continuing into a second day only after the latter was caught off a Rabada no-ball late on.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United1

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

A complete list of all the completed transfer deals during the January transfer window2

January Window: Done deals

A full list of all the complete signings in the January 2020 football transfer window with details of the confirmed deals from the Premier League, Sky Bet EFL and Europe.

We look ahead to the Premier League game between West Ham and Liverpool at the London Stadium3

Refreshed Reds to run riot

Premier League tips, score prediction, best bet and stats for Wednesday's clash between West Ham and Liverpool.

Check out the latest Nap selection from our team4

Daily Nap: Murphy magic

David Ord bagged a Tuesday winner and Matt Brocklebank heads to Kempton for the Daily Nap on Wednesday with Amy Murphy tipped to send out a winner on the Flat.

Trezeguet: Celebrations after the Aston Villa forward's injury-time winner against Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final5

Trezeguet fires Villa to the final

Aston Villa reached their first league cup final for a decade with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Leicester in the second leg of their semi-final at Villa Park.

Most Read

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United1

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

A complete list of all the completed transfer deals during the January transfer window2

January Window: Done deals

A full list of all the complete signings in the January 2020 football transfer window with details of the confirmed deals from the Premier League, Sky Bet EFL and Europe.

We look ahead to the Premier League game between West Ham and Liverpool at the London Stadium3

Refreshed Reds to run riot

Premier League tips, score prediction, best bet and stats for Wednesday's clash between West Ham and Liverpool.

Check out the latest Nap selection from our team4

Daily Nap: Murphy magic

David Ord bagged a Tuesday winner and Matt Brocklebank heads to Kempton for the Daily Nap on Wednesday with Amy Murphy tipped to send out a winner on the Flat.

Trezeguet: Celebrations after the Aston Villa forward's injury-time winner against Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final5

Trezeguet fires Villa to the final

Aston Villa reached their first league cup final for a decade with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Leicester in the second leg of their semi-final at Villa Park.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest Nap selection from our team

Daily Nap: Murphy magic

David Ord bagged a Tuesday winner and Matt Brocklebank heads to Kempton for the Daily Nap on Wednesday with Amy Murphy tipped to send out a winner on the Flat.

Check out Wednesday's racing preview

Wednesday's racing preview

David Clough makes Ginger Fox his best Wednesday bet and has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK.

Cilaos Emery still has bags of potential over fences

Time to strike with 10/1 Emery

Matt Brocklebank is keen to get a couple of horses on side for Cheltenham before they potentially enhance their credentials this weekend.

Next Race Off

08:30 Mysore
8
(6)
Time Always
J: Vishwanath
2
(11)
Wood Cutter
J: Ajeet Kumar
12
(9)
Micron Yaacow
J: R Manish

Football Tips

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

We look ahead to the Premier League game between West Ham and Liverpool at the London Stadium

Refreshed Reds to run riot

Premier League tips, score prediction, best bet and stats for Wednesday's clash between West Ham and Liverpool.

Trainer Harry Fry

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in January 2020.