South Africa v England, Day 1: England fight back in last session after batting performances from Amla and Cook
Stephen Cook became the 100th player to score a century on Test debut
After South Africa dominated the first two sessions of the first day of the fourth Test against England at the Supersport Park, Centurion, English bowlers fought back in the last session to end the day on an even note as South Africa finished on 329/5 in 90 overs.
However, the day belonged to South African debutant, Stephen Cook, who scored a brilliant century and became the 100th player to score a century on Test debut. Cook played a mature innings of 115 as he hit 14 boundaries.
Former captain, Hashim Amla also reached a milestone as he scored his 25th Test century and was involved in a 202-run partnership with Cook.
Dean Elgar was the first to go and was Moeen Ali's first victim of the day. What followed then was a brilliant display of batting from both Amla and Cook. Both batsmen made batting look easy as they scored runs a more than four runs an over.
The Proteas scored more than 100 runs in each of the day's three sessions. They did not lose any wicket in the second session, however, after tea, the English bowlers came back strongly and picked up five wickets in the space of 14 overs and scored just 36 runs.
Amla was the first to go as he was bowled by Ben Stokes. In the very next over, captain AB de Villiers edged one to Joe Root at second slip off Stuart Broad's bowling. Cook and JP Duminy were the next to go as the latter did not pick up the bounce of the ball from Ali.
At 273/5, it did not look like good reading for the South African batsmen after having had such a great start to the day. However, Temba Bavuma and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock put up an unbeaten 56-run partnership to steady the ship for the Proteas.
Both batsmen, especially Bavuma, looked good at the crease as they survived until the last ball of the day. Bavuma was unbeaten on 32 while de Kock was unbeaten on 25.
Moeen Ali picked up two wickets for South Africa while Broad, Chris Woakes and Stokes picked up a wicket each. Woakes was exceptionally expensive as he bowled 16 overs and gave away runs at 4.62.
England will be hoping to pick up early wickets on the second day and start their batting innings at the earliest. The Proteas, on the other hand, will be hoping that both their middle-order batsmen can carry on the good touch they have and help put up a good total on the board.
South Africa Batting, 1st Innings: 329/5, 90 overs
|Stephen Cook||115 (218)|
|Dean Elgar||20 (36)|
|Hashim Amla||109 (169)|
|AB de Villiers||0 (2)|
|JP Duminy||16 (31)|
|Temba Bavuma||32* (53)|
|Quinton de Kock||25* (31)|
England Bowling, 1st Innings: