As stumps were drawn at Kingsmead, Durban in the first Test between South Africa and England, both teams had positives to cheer about with spoils being shared at the end of Day Two. South Africa finished the day at 137/4, with a settled Dean Elgar and an assured-looking Temba Bavuma at the crease.
After putting up 303 on board in the first innings, England spearhead, Stuart Broad made two quick breakthroughs reducing the home side to just 14/2. The Englishman bowled Stiaan van Zyl with a peach of a delivery, swinging in and hitting the batsman's off-stump.
Captain Hashim Amla's batting woes seemed to continue as he survived a few close shaves before nicking the ball to the keeper off Broad's bowling. The only boundary that the South African captain scored was off an outside edge.
However, Elgar and AB de Villiers steadied the ship as they put in an 86-run partnership to take the South African innings to some stability. De Villiers missed out on scoring his 39th Test half-century as he edged Broad to wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow.
Faf du Plessis, another player under pressure from a poor showing in India, also did not last long at the crease as Moeen Ali went through the batsman's defences and dismissed him for just 2 runs. South Africa again seemed to be in trouble at 113/4.
As wickets kept falling at the other end, opener Elgar reached his fourth Test fifty and remained unbeaten on 67 at the end of Day Two. Elgar batted sensibly and left the tempting balls outside off-stump and looked resilient throughout. He will be hoping for some good support from Bavuma, who was unbeaten on 10 at close of play.
Stuart Broad was easily the pick of the bowlers as he filled in during James Anderson's absence due to injury. Broad picked up three wickets in his ten overs and conceded only 16 runs as the pitch offered some assistance to the seam bowlers.
Earlier in the day, England resumed on 179/4 with comeback-man Nick Compton and all-rounder Ben Stokes at the crease. Compton fell short of his century by just 15 runs as edged a Morkel delivery to de Villiers.
After Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes returned to the pavillion scoring ducks, Bairstow played a handy innings of 41 to save England from a late collapse. However, England were in a spot of bother after Bairstow was dismissed reeling at 267/9.
A useful 36-run tenth-wicket partnership between Broad and Steven Finn gave England a respectable total of 303. Broad played a valuable knock of 32 from just 33 balls.
Dale Steyn and Morkel picked up four wickets each for South Africa while Kyle Abbott and Dane Piedt picked up a wicket apiece.
England will be hoping their bowlers can continue bowling in the right areas on Day Three and bowl out South Africa before they take a lead in the first innings. On the other hand, the Proteas will he hoping that Elgar and the lower middle-order pile on the runs and take them to a comfortable first-innings score.
8 - AB de Villiers has been dismissed by Stuart Broad more often than any other bowler he's faced in Test match cricket. Thorn.— OptaJim (@OptaJim) December 27, 2015
England resumed Day Two on 179/4
England Batting, 1st Innings: 303/10, 100.1 overs
|Alastair Cook||0 (11)|
|Alex Hales||10 (22)|
|Nick Compton||85 (236)|
|Joe Root||24 (37)|
|James Taylor||70 (137)|
|Ben Stokes||21 (34)|
|Jonny Bairstow||41 (56)|
|Moeen Ali||0 (4)|
|Chris Woakes||0 (1)|
|Stuart Broad||32* (33)|
|Steven Finn||12 (33)|
South Africa Bowling:
|Stiaan van Zyl||2||2||0|
South Africa Batting, 1st Innings: 137/4, 52 overs
|Stiaan van Zyl||0 (2)|
|Dean Elgar||67* (155)|
|Hashim Amla||7 (24)|
|AB de Villiers||49 (79)|
|Faf du Plessis||2 (19)|
|Temba Bavuma||10* (33)|