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England vs South Africa 2017: 2nd Test day 2, 5 talking points

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  South Africa bowler Keshav Maharaj celebrates after bowling Jonny Bairstow during day two of the  2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 15, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Maharaj once again highlighted his importance in the side with crucial wickets
rohit sankar

South Africa's best day with the ball since landing in England helped them take a decisive lead on Day 2 of the second Investec Test series at Trent Bridge. James Anderson completed a five-wicket haul by dismissing all of the remaining Proteas batsmen within 38 deliveries on Day 2 as South Africa's first innings was restricted to 335.

Philander and Morkel, however, made amends with the ball and started off with a bang, getting rid of Cook and Jennings off consecutive deliveries. Joe Root notched up his sixth consecutive 50+ score, this one coming at more than run a ball but a loose shot from the skipper triggered a collapse that saw England lose their last six wickets for a mere 62 runs. Keshav Maharaj and Chris Morris were at the centre of South Africa's sensational comeback in the day, sharing three wickets apiece.

Gritty knocks from Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla then took the Proteas to stumps with a mammoth lead of 205.

Brief Scores: South Africa 335 & 75/1 (Elgar 38, Amla 23)England 205 (Root 78, Bairstow 45, Maharaj 3/21)

Here are the talking points from the second day at Trent Bridge.


#5 Anderson rips apart South African lower order

James Anderson had his tail up on a breezy Trent Bridge morning and accounted for the well set Philander off the third ball of the day. The delivery angled from wide of the crease bounced more than Philander expected and straightened inducing a top edge that Dawson at cover settled under.

Anderson then proceeded to bamboozle Maharaj with a mix of outswingers and inswingers. The test proved too much for the no.9 batsman who edged to Root at second slip. Chris Morris, South Africa's sole hope by then, played a good looking on-drive against Anderson which had the commentary team gasping in awe but fell the very next ball as a leading edge settled in the safe hands of Anderson.

He closed off the innings with Morkel's scalp to finish with his second fifer at Trent Bridge. His spell in the morning read 3.2-2-4-4 as England took a mere 38 balls to bowl out the tail.

#4 Contrasting day for top orders

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  Vernon Philander of South Africa successfully appeals for the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during day two of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 15, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Alastair Cook continued to be troubled by Vernon Philander

Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings once again failed to get England off to a good start as Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander made full use of the overhead conditions to trouble the left-handers. Philander consistently seamed the ball in causing problems for Cook. The former skipper eventually nicked one onto his pads and the ball reared up into de Kock's gloves. Although the on-field umpire dismissed South Africa's appeals, du Plessis made use of his review to send Cook back to the pavilion.

Jennings departed next ball with Morkel once again using his around the wicket angle to generate disconcerting bounce. However, it was Jennings' fault that he hung out his bat to a delivery that should have been left alone. England were left tottering at 3/2 after they had bowled the Proteas out early.

On the other hand, South Africa got themselves off to a fine start, aided by the cushion of a huge 130-run lead. Although Anderson and Broad were on top of their game, South Africa got through a tricky final session with minimal damage as Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla took them through unscathed.

#3 Root's counter-attacking innings

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  England batsman Joe Root reacts after being dismissed during day two of the  2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 15, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Root played one shot too many in his run a ball knock in the first innings

Joe Root walked in with England precariously placed at 3/2 but tucked one through the leg-side for three off his first ball. The positive intent continued throughout his stay at the wicket as Root took the attack to the South African bowlers.

After Philander and Morkel were done with their first spell, Root dug into Morris and Olivier, racing to his 28th half-century, and sixth in a row, at more than run a ball.

Gary Ballance, although edgy, stood by Root in an 83 run stand off 14 overs. The England skipper was good enough to hide Ballance's imperfections as he looked in sublime touch till he played a loose shot against Morkel to gift a catch to Quinton de Kock.

#2 Maharaj breaks England's resistance

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  Keshav Maharaj of South Africa celebrates dismissing Ben Stokes of England during day two of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 15, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Maharaj dismissed the mercurial Ben Stokes for a 12 ball duck

Ever since his debut against the Aussies Down Under, Keshav Maharaj has found a way to take big wickets. If it was Steven Smith falling to the seemingly innocuous left-arm spinner on his debut, it was Ben Stokes today. The England all-rounder was dismissed for a 12 ball duck, leaving the lower middle order exposed.

With Bairstow and Ali threatening to build another game changing stand, Maharaj broke through again with the big wicket of Bairstow. The wicket-keeper was undone by a beautifully flighted delivery that beat his defence to smash into the off-stump. The spinner added Dawson to his wicket tally as well, as England collapsed.

#1 England collapse after Root

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  dSouth Africa bowler Chris Morris celebrates after dismissing Mark Wood uring day two of the  2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 15, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Morris unleashed some limited-overs bowling skills to send the lower order packing

The England skipper and lower order all-rounders had parried and fought to build a good total for the team at Lord's but the Proteas learned from their mistakes and persistently attacked after Root was dismissed. Stokes was denied the strike and this forced a mistake while Bairstow was bowled by a Maharaj special.

Morris ensured that there was no lower order resistance this time around as he triggered an England collapse. The hosts went from 140/3 to 199/9 in short time much to the dismay of the Trent Bridge crowd. In fact, England lost three wickets with the score on 199, a reflection of how well the South African bowlers did their homework after the Lord's Test. After the England innings, 14 wickets had collapsed on the day with a further 29 overs remaining.

Edited by Staff Editor

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