England captain Joe Root in 'dream world' after century at Lord's

South Africa coach Russell Domingo during a nets session at Lords in London England on 4 July 2017
South Africa coach Russell Domingo during a nets session at Lords in London England on 4 July 2017
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10 July, 2017

England's Gary Ballance during day three of the First Investec Test match at Lord's, Loplays a reverse sweep during day three at Lord's. He shuffled down the pitch to Moeen Ali and chipped the ball straight back to the bowler to be out for just two. They were still able to set South Africa 331, only 10 fewer than the ground-record run chase, though. He then broke the game open with the dismissals of Hashim Amla and Elgar either side of tea, reaching 100 Test wickets in the process - and becoming the fifth-fastest to the twin landmark in history.

Having won the toss and choosing to bat, England were reduced to 17 for two and then 76 for four before Root, in partnership with Ben Stokes (56) and then Moeen Ali (61no), led them to 357 for five at the close.

Number 11 Morne Morkel provided more resistance, as Philander completed his 80-ball half-century in a last-wicket stand of 24 which ended when the senior partner got a little greedy against the returning Moeen and was bowled aiming to hit him into the pavilion.

On the only previous occasion that Moeen, who would finish with match figures of 10 for 112, comfortably his career best, and Liam Dawson were in harness along with Adil Rashid, against India in Chennai last December, England conceded 759 for 7.

Stuart Broad‚ who hammered an unbeaten 57 off 47 balls in the first innings‚ was gone first ball when another wickedly turning delivery from Maharaj took the edge and was superbly caught by Theunis de Bruyn at short leg. Rabada falling for 27, off the spin of Dawson to leave South Africa 244-6, but it was a piece of magic by Ali shortly after that left the Proteas in a worrying position.

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When JP Duminy fell to Broad, pinned by a ball that veered into him late, South Africa had lost 3 for 22 and looked to be wilting but de Bruyn, playing in this Test as cover for Faf du Plessis, and Bavuma slowly wrested the initiative back.

"It was a good wicket for him to bowl on but the more it happens for him the more confidence he will get", Australian Bayliss told Test Match Special. Broad was not as successful as he had been on the first day, taking punishment from De Kock when he took the second new ball, conceding 36 runs in 4 overs. First dropped in 2015, he has been in and out of the England Test side ever since.

"Credit to the way Stokesy came out and played and then Moeen at the end", added Root.

Nearly to prove this, Jennings to get off the mark, poked into the off-side for a quick single and misjudged the proximity of the South African fielder. At 314-8, South Africa's lunch had soured.

Jonny Bairstow's insistence from behind the stumps proved spot on, though, as the ball struck pad before bat and was proven to be bang on target.


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