South Africa 267-7
I think this is going to prove to be an interesting Test match. All the South African batsmen so far have made it to double figures, but none have got as far as their half century. The track is pretty green, and nearby parts of the square have fairly impressive cracks; it seems to be a wicket which the batsmen never really feel in on. AB de Villiers cracked his second and third balls away for four, and Ian (@mctownie1), who I was talking to soon afterwards, suggests that it was the kind of wicket where there would always be a ball with your name on it, so better to hit out early before that one came. That won’t suit Compton’s style of batting, and we’ll probably see tomorrow how he adapts.
Steven Finn was the stand-out bowler for me today, and several of his deliveries, not just the one that got Amla, were really superb. Moeen Ali was also surprisingly effective, especially when you consider that South Africa decided not to play a spinner in this Test. Broad and Anderson were innocuous, although Jimmy was bowling very dry – just 46 runs off 20 overs. The other performer of the day for England was Jonny Bairstow, who took all four in-field catches (the other two were misjudged hook shots caught on the boundary) and effected a superb run-out, all this despite being ill enough to need to sprint off the field at every possible opportunity. The word is that several of the other players are off-colour too, and they did look a bit jaded as a team. I hope they are feeling better tomorrow.
As for South Africa, they had a good solid start, reaching 117-1 before Elgar fell, but they will be disappointed not to have built better on that. The current eighth-wicket partnership between Morris and Rabada is doing well, though, having put on 42 so far, although with an awful lot of plays and misses.
After a week off, I really enjoyed being back at the cricket. I spent most of the morning on my own, luxuriating in my beanbag and perfect view from the grass bank, but was later joined by Kate (@DutchBirdKate) and Napalm Nick, who I know from Durban and Cape Town, and Jo (@lil_green_tpot) and Ian who I know through Guerilla Cricket and twitter, but who I hadn’t met before in real life. Once again, twitter introduces me to lovely people – I would really miss out on so much without it.