England vs South Africa Day 2 Highlights 1st Test 2012. England vs South Africa 1st Test Cricket Highlights 20th July 2012. Watch Eng vs SA Highlights 1st Test Day 2 2012. South Africa v England Highlights 1st Test played at Oval on 20 June 2012. South Africa Tour of England 2012. Sponsored Links
Much has been made of the fact this is only a three-Test series, a contest that will determine the No. 1 team in the world – and one thing it means is that the early advantage becomes even more crucial. Through Alastair Cook’s 20th Test hundred, a chanceless innings, it was England who ended the opening day in control on a healthy 267 for 3, as they aim to consolidate their top ranking.
Cook’s hundred, which came from 222 balls, made him the third England batsman this year to reach the 20 Test century mark following Kevin Pietersen at Colombo and Andrew Strauss at Lord’s. It is a close race between the trio to become England’s leading century-maker, overtaking the 22 scored by Geoff Boycott, Wally Hammond and Colin Cowdrey, but there is little doubt that Cook, who is still only 27, should finish his career at the top of that list.
Imran Tahir, the legspinner, did not pose a huge threat and the batsmen could sit on him while waiting for the bad ball. Both Cook and Trott were quick to latch onto anything short, with midwicket being especially profitable for Cook. It was Morkel who provided the breakthrough when he managed to pitch the ball a touch fuller and found Trott’s outside edge from a rare loose drive after South Africa had gone wicketless during the afternoon session.
The day’s play then developed an extra edge as Pietersen, in a week where he has never been far from the headlines, entered the fray. Morkel tried for a yorker first ball and gifted Pietersen a full toss to open his account but he played carefully to reach 3 off 20 deliveries before stepping across his stumps and flicking Philander over mid-on.
A crunching pull off Steyn was the most dismissive shot of the day, closely followed by a straight drive off Kallis, and an attempted scoop against JP Duminy suggested he felt ready to expand. But Kallis had his revenge when Pietersen gloved a bouncer to AB de Villiers two balls before the 80-over mark. It was England’s poorest piece of cricket in the day, as it gave South Africa hope of making late inroads, but Cook and Ian Bell negotiated the new ball to complete a very satisfactory start for the hosts.
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