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South Africa take firm grip on second Test against England

South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock celebrates after England batsman Jonny Bairstow is bowled out by Keshav Maharaj. Carl Recine/REUTERS

South Africa were in commanding position after bowling England out for just 205 runs in their first innings of the second Test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The visitors, who scored 350 runs their innings, were 75 for 1 at the close of the second day’s play.

South Africa resumed their innings on the overnight score of 309 for six.

They could add just 41 runs more to the total as James Anderson took the last four wickets in an inspired spell. The England fast bowler ended up with five wickets and along with Stuart Broad, who claimed three scalps, restricted South Africa’s score to 350.

England got off to a shaky start as both openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings returned to the pavilion with just three runs on the board. However, newly appointed England captain Joe Root steadied the innings with a masterly 78.

He was involved in two decent partnerships with Gary Ballance (27) and Jonny Bairstow (45). Morkel claimed the important wicket of Root after which the remaining batsmen showed little resistance.

Left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed three wickets, including those of Bairstow and attacking all-rounder Ben Stokes, for just 21 runs. He was well supported by the pace trio of Chris Morris (three wickets), Mornie Morkel and Vernon Philander, who claimed two wickets each.

South Africa were 75 for one in their second innings with Dean Elgar on 38 not out and Hashim Amla scoring an unbeaten 23.

South Africa, who lost the first Test at Lord’s, are the firm favourites to even the four-match series as no team has scored more than 284 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test at Trent Bridge.