The first day of play in the Test series between South Africa and England in Durban was much interrupted by rain, and was brought to an early end by poor light, with the visitors at 179/4. Apart from the elements, Dale Steyn (3/29) and Nick Compton, who will resume batting on Day 2 unbeaten on 63, were the most influential players on the day.
Coming into the England side for the first time since May 2013, Compton combined with Joe Root and James Taylor to put up a counter attack after Dale Steyn had pegged back the top order with his new ball spell.
Put into bat, England lost both opener Alastair Cook and Alex Hales cheaply, and Joe Root followed after a strokeful 24. What followed was a rescue mission by two batsmen who have a point to prove after having been frequently left out of the England team without sufficient cause, a 125-run partnership for the 4th wicket between Nick Compton and James Taylor.
Steyn came back to dismiss Taylor after tea to bring Ben Stokes out, but not much more play was possible, as the umpires decided to stop the action after only 65.1 overs had been possible.
Steyn was among the players who spoke in the press conference after the day’s action, and he pointed to the drubbing received at the hands of India on the recent tour as having worked as a wake-up call for the Proteas.
He said, “It was nice to finally get on the field today. Since getting back from India I've been doing a lot of bowling. I'm happy with how things went with my bowling today.
“After India, I think it was a wake-up call for a lot of us. The boys hurt quite a lot after that.”
England’s James Taylor seemed happy with how the day had proceeded as well, saying, “After having lost the toss, we couldn't have had a better start and day.”
Brief Scores: England 179/4 (James Taylor 70, Nick Compton 63*, Joe Root 24), batting first against South Africa (Dale Steyn 3/29, Dane Piedt 1/39)