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"I didn’t mind it, actually" - James Anderson on South Africa batting first on Day One at Old Trafford

James Anderson shone in his 100th Test on home soil.
James Anderson shone in his 100th Test on home soil.

England's premier red-ball bowler James Anderson suggested that South Africa did the hosts a favor by batting first on Day One of the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday (August 25). Anderson, who picked up three wickets in the innings, believes it was not the worst toss to lose.

The Proteas' decision to bat first under swinging conditions backfired as England bowled them out for 151. The hosts bowled relentlessly throughout the day as Anderson and Stuart Broad took three scalps each, giving the Proteas no respite.

Jimmy gets his second after Lunch! 💪Scorecard/clips: ms.spr.ly/6011jdoit🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #ENGvSA 🇿🇦 https://t.co/cuANiXx4fc

Speaking after the day's play, the 40-year-old said he welcomed Dean Elgar's decision as he had the confidence to extract something from the conditions. The veteran reflected on the nature of the track, saying he knew it had moisture beneath the hard top.

As quoted by Yahoo News, he said:

"I didn’t mind it, actually. Pitches here are normally good to bowl on with a new ball, especially early on. The lights were on, it was cloudy… it felt like not the worst toss to lose. As a bowler, when you see it moving around like that, it’s always great.
"We know the weather has been pretty average here this last week so it’s been under cover quite a bit and, although it felt hard on top, there was definitely going to be some moisture in there somewhere."

Only one of South Africa's top five crossed 20, with Keegan Petersen making 21. Their pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada top-scored with 36 and stitched together a useful 35-run partnership with No.10 batter Anrich Nortje to drag them past 150.


"He played exactly how we needed him to play" - James Anderson praises Zak Crawley's resistance

Zak Crawley survived for 77 deliveries. (Credits: Getty)
Zak Crawley survived for 77 deliveries. (Credits: Getty)

Anderson opened up on Zak Crawley's uncharacteristic innings and said it was what the team required as it helped Jonny Bairstow play freely.

He said:

"He played exactly how we needed him to play. For someone whose output has not been what he would want it to be, he read the situation brilliantly. The way he played allowed Jonny to play his natural game."
England end day one on fine note with a strong unbeaten partnership reviving their innings 👊#WTC23 | #ENGvSA | Scorecard: bit.ly/ENGvSA-2ndTest https://t.co/zCuQZZxPhx

By the close of play, the home side reached 111-3 in 28 overs and trailed by only 40 runs. Rabada, Nortje, and Lungi Ngidi took one wicket each. Crawley remained unbeaten at 17 off 77 deliveries, while Bairstow made a quickfire 45-ball 38. They will be looking to gain a healthy lead on Day Two.

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Edited by Puranjay
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