England will look to bounce back from a disappointing opening day when the second Test against South Africa resumes in Cape Town on Saturday.
The tourists chose to bat first at Newlands but scraped together a barely passable 262 for nine as their top order repeatedly got out after setting themselves at the crease.
Ollie Pope top-scored with 56 not out on his return to the side after illness and will be hoping to add some much-needed runs in the morning session, provided number 11 James Anderson can linger.
Once the innings is over England’s bowlers must try and keep them in the game, doing so without the express pace and unpredictability of injury victim Jofra Archer. Anderson and Stuart Broad boast almost 300 Test caps and over 1,000 wickets between them, and will be expected to carry most of the burden.
Tweet of the day
Pope can Play
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 3, 2020
Kevin Pietersen offers a succinct, but positive, assessment of England’s number six.
Football season is over
Rory Burns’ tour-ending ankle injury is likely to leave an unintended legacy in English cricket, with England coach Chris Silverwood and director of cricket Ashley Giles making the collective decision to end the squad’s much-loved warm-up football matches after he was hurt during a game. Giles has never been a fan of the idea, banning football at Warwickshire and Lancashire, but the laissez-faire policy of Silverwood’s predecessor Trevor Bayliss had persisted. Until now.
South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis filmed a short message for the retiring Vernon Philander ahead of his final Test on home turf at Newlands. As well as revealing a couple of dressing room nicknames for the 34-year-old – ‘sniper’ and ‘the surgeon’ – he also paid tribute to the manner of his departure. “This team has relied on you for so many years as the backbone of the bowling attack. I’m so happy you can finish the way you want to, and write your own story,” said the skipper.
What they said
Unhappy returns for Bairstow
It was on this ground four years ago that Jonny Bairstow scored his maiden Test century, finishing 150 not out in a match that marked his coming of age at the highest level. His hopes of making new memories at Newlands came to nothing, with England dropping him despite Burns’ place opening up. Crawley was the spare opener on tour but the option of sticking with Bairstow and rejigging the order did exist.