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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Battling South Africans leave test finely poised against England

Stuart Broad secures two prize wickets in another good day at Trent Bridge 

South Africa's Vernon Philander celebrates his half century with Chris Morris Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
South Africa's Vernon Philander celebrates his half century with Chris Morris Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

A resilient rearguard action from South Africa left the second test against England finely balanced despite another successful spell of bowling by paceman Stuart Broad at his home ground of Test Bridge.

Broad, returning to the ground for the first time in a Test since taking eight for 15 when England clinched the Ashes in 2015, broke the key stand of Quinton de Kock (68) and Hashim Amla (78) in a five-over spell after tea.

South African captain Faf du Plessis chose to bat despite early cloudy conditions favouring England’s experienced pace attack, but a steady first two sessions saw the tourists come into tea at 179 for two.

After a fluent half century, De Kock fell to the first ball of the post-tea session to end a 113-run stand with three further wickets saw England press home their advantage.

But Vernon Philander’s 54 not-out saw South Africa to the end of the day without further loss, setting up an intriguing tussle. England took the first match in the series after the tourists’ batting collapsed in the second innings losing by 211 runs.

"I think we did have a lot to prove," said De Kock. "It was disappointing the way the last Test ended. We knew coming into this one we needed to fight, and throw the first punch for us to get somewhere.

"It was very up and down today. One session was ours, then another one England's, so it was very back and forth."

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