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England vs South Africa 2017, 1st Test: 5 talking points

rohit sankar
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.58K   //    10 Jul 2017, 11:39 IST
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09:  England captain Joe Root shakes hands with Moeen Ali after winning the 1st Investec Test between England and South Africa at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 9, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
The winning captain, Joe Root with his Man of the Match, Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali wrecked havoc on a crumbling fourth day Lord's track against South Africa revoking memories of the visitor's horrendous tour to India in 2016. Chasing the second highest score at Lord's in the fourth innings, South Africa collapsed to Ali and were bowled out for a meagre 119 to give England the early lead in the Test series. 

That the target seemed within reach was after Morne Morkel and Keshav Maharaj triggered a collapse in England's second innings. The hosts lost their way from 138/1 to 182/8 but were aided by the huge first innings lead they had. Even as South Africa came back strongly into the game, the cushion provided by that lead was enough for England to not panic. 

South Africa needed their top order to fight to stay alive but none of their batsmen showed the temperament or willingness to negotiate a sharp looking England bowling attack. Eventually they folded for 119 as Faf du Plessis, the man who would lead them from the second Test, watched from the stands.

Brief Scores: England 458 (Root 190, Morkel 4/115) & 233 (Cook 69, Maharaj 4/85) beat South Africa 361 (Bavuma 59, Ali 4/59) & 119 (Bavuma 21, Ali 6/53)

Here are the major talking points from the Lord's Test.

#5 Joe Root shines on captaincy debut

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Joe Root of England acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field at the close of play during day one of the 1st Investec Test Match between England and South Africa at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Root showed no sign of captaincy bogging him down

Dubbed as "Craptain" after he allowed Middlesex to chase 470 odd runs in the fourth innings of a Championship match while skippering Yorkshire, Root had little experience at the helm when handed over the job of captaining the England Test team. But he showed little sign of fear as he compiled the highest score by an England Test skipper on his captaincy debut. 

Root managed his bowlers well on the field, with his handling of Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson standing out on a sluggish Lord's wicket. He looked tensed when his team collapsed in the second innings but came onto the field charging and his energy dissipated rubbed off onto his teammates who put in a sensational display to close out the game a day earlier.

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