South Africa continued to wobble but Quinton de Kock‘s attacking half-century took the side to 187 for 5 at Tea in Centurion on Thursday (December 26). The hosts lost Rassie van de Dussen (6) and Faf du Plessis (29) in the session and scored 108 in the 26 overs bowled.
Just like the first session, South Africa was once again jolted early into the session. Van de Dussen’s debut innings lasted just 34 balls, and resulted in six runs, as he fell to Sam Curran. Having shown good defense, the right-hander poked at a wide one delivery that was angling away to edge it to slip. It was then Stuart Broad’s turn to add to South Africa’s misery as he had du Plessis caught at first slip with one that left the batsman after pitching outside off. It was also Broad’s 400th Test wicket.
At 111 for 5, de Kock decided to live life on the edge. He could have been dismissed thrice – all times to Root – but somehow managed to survive. He kept attacking the England captain and kept reaping rewards with boundaries. In the 41st over, he tried to launch Root over mid-off but failed to connect and gave James Anderson a chance.
The pacer, though, got to the ball and failed to grab the opportunity. Twice more Root found the edge only to see it evade Ben Stokes at first slip. He eventually got to his half-century – off 45 balls – in the 46th over with nine hits to the fence.
Dwaine Pretorius, South Africa’s second debutant, was happy to play second fiddle but wasn’t ready to go into his shell. He too struck some handsome boundaries as the partnership stretched to 76 before the break.
Earlier in the day, South Africa slipped to 79 for 3 after being put in. Anderson, playing his 150th Test, dismissed Dean Elgar on the first ball of the game – caught behind down the leg side. Aiden Markram flicked a Curran delivery to short-mid-wicket while Zubayr Hamza fell to Broad after a highly promising 39.
Brief scores: South Africa 187/5 (Quinton de Kock 64; Sam Curran 2-30) vs England.