ENG - 182/4 (Root - 79 , Stokes - 52 ; Philander 3-28)
Joe Root led from the front in his first Test as captain of the English team with an unbeaten half-century. It was a crucial knock from the skipper against the sharp Portea pacers. At the end of the 2nd session, he had forged a 106-run partnership with allrounder Ben Stokes and prevent a collapse after they were reduced to 76/4.
Root's first ever decision as captain to bat first seemingly backfired as Vernon Philander & co. bowled nagging lengths to trouble the batsmen. Philander picked up 3 wickets in the 1st session, sending Bairstow, Jennings & Cook back to the pavilion. Morne Morkel chipped in with the wicket of Ballance, trapping the southpaw plumb in front of the stumps. Root weathered the testing spell of play in the morning and held one end up. Post Lunch, with the presence of the effervescent Stokes in the middle, England got a move on.
Root is nearing his 12th Test ton and Stokes' presence in the middle would bring back terrifying memories for the opposition against whom he stroked the fastest ever double century a year ago. Can RSA bite back in the 3rd session or will England keep them at bay⁉