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Summary

  1. Stokes 74*, Bairstow 39* - stand worth 94
  2. Hales 60, Root 50, Compton 45
  3. Three wickets for Rabada
  4. Fit-again Anderson replaces Woakes
  5. Eng won toss; 1-0 up in four-Test series

Live Reporting

By Marc Higginson and Justin Goulding

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodnight!

    I'd say that's a wrap from us. There'll be plenty of reaction on the site later, but until then share the love with the football boys and girls. They're over here.

    Thanks for your contributions today, I reckon you've excelled yourself with the pictures of cricket grounds. Well done!

    See you tomorrow.

  2. 'We've got to fight'

    South Africa debutant Chris Morris, who took 1-99, on Sky Sports: "It's been the dream since I was a youngster, so to walk out and represent my country is a proud moment.

    "Ten days ago I thought I was going to go on holiday. As soon as the call came I was packing my bags and I'm happy to be here.

    "Stokes played rather well but we've got to be honest - I didn't bowl well with the second new ball.

    "We'll come back tomorrow and try and get back on as soon as I can. There's a lot of hard work ahead of us and we've got to fight as hard as we can."

  3. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Daniel Fellows: @Stokesy is already a far better all rounder than #Flintoff in my opinion. Genuine world class, striking fear into opposition.

  4. Post update

  5. 'We can take the game away from South Africa'

    More from England's Alex Hales: "We're in a pretty good position. Around the second new ball mark the game was in the balance, and the way Stokesie and Jonny played has put us in a good position. They played superbly.

    "The next two wickets are key partnerships, and they way they bat they can take the game away."

  6. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Caroline: Good day's play, lads. On balance we came out on top. Well done Ben S and Jonnie B. Good knock!

  7. Player's view

    England's Alex Hales, who made 60 in his second Test, on Sky Sports "The coach has said go out and play your natural game - how you do for Notts and for the England one-day team - so there's no pressure on me in that respect. I look to be an attacking player and occasionally I'll make the odd mistake."

  8. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't want to be too critical but I don't think we're enamoured with Amla's captaincy. There are things he could have done better.

    "England are the better side, I'll be surprised if they don't win."

  9. Post update

  10. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Ben Stokes

    "I thought South Africa had done quite well but Stokes played nicely and didn't do anything silly - then he exploded.  He might have played and missed the odd one but he played some scintillating shots and smashed them to all parts.

    "Amla didn't help his bowlers by putting men on the boundary to stop fours. Stokes took them to the cleaners and Bairstow played sensibly enough. No one was winning but England are now in the box seat. 150 runs in the last session? You've got to be kidding."

  11. Post update

    Then it was the Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow show. The pair rescued England with some powerful, but virtually chanceless, hitting which took England from 223-5 in the 68th over to 317-5 at the close. They scored at almost a run a ball.

  12. 'England gave four wickets away'

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Compton played his nice self - very steady. He got 45 nice runs but then he pulled one straight to mid-wicket. Taylor's was an awful shot - he'll look at that tonight and be embarrassed. Joe Root was busy and played well. But he got himself out too.

    "Hales gave it away. Compton gave it away. Root gave it away. England gave away four wickets on a lovely batting pitch."

  13. Post update

    James Taylor also perished to a bad shot - caught behind driving to the first ball after tea to register a golden duck while Joe Root once again reached 50 but failed to kick on.

  14. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I feel that if Hales is going to succeed over a period in Test cricket he has to rein things in. You can get away with things in one-day cricket where there are no slips but he needs to improve. You don't want to be giving your wicket away."

  15. Post update

    Time to look back on an entertaining day of Test cricket.

    England got off to a flyer, reaching 55 without loss before Alastair Cook was caught by Chris Morris's superb slip catch.

    However, Alex Hales (60) and Nick Compton (45) steadied the ship and advanced England's score nicely before gifting their wickets with poor shots.

  16. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Jack of all trades: England's day for sure, the final session took it away from SA. I think Amla should have kept the new ball for tmrw morning.

  17. Close of play scorecard

    England 317-5 (87 overs)

    Batsmen: Stokes 74*, Bairstow 39*

    Bowling figures: Morkel 18-3-51-1, Morris 22-3-99-1, Rabada 19-2-74-3, Piedt 21-5-63-0, van Zyl 5-0-12-0, Elgar 2-0-7-0.

    Fall of wickets: 55-1 (Cook 27), 129-2 (Hales 60), 167-3 (Compton 45), 167-4 (Taylor 0), 223-5 (Root 50)

    England won the toss

  18. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Peter Coles: Feel sorry for Amla but it has to be said he's getting it all wrong here.

  19. Post update

    How ironic that South Africa sent down seven overs of medium pace while they waited for the new ball and England smashed 46 off the first five overs delivered with the new nut.

  20. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Gareth Price: Everyone busy laying into England middle order as ever. But I bet Stokes and Bairstow have won us this Test in the last hour.

  21. Close of play

    There we have it then... England march off very much on top. A job very well done.

    Ben Stokes deserves much of the credit for his swashbuckling 74 not out.

  22. Eng 317-5 (Stokes 74, Bairstow 39)

    Morne Morkel comes on for an over before the close.

    Horse. Bolted.

    Maiden.

  23. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Canford School

    Edward Johnson: Canford School 1st XI pitch is pretty special.

  24. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think the inexperience has shown here once they've come under pressure. They've looked tired, particularly young Morris in his first Test."

  25. Eng 317-5 (Stokes 74, Bairstow 39)

    Chris Morris has seen his figures take a real battering - his figures in this spell are 3-0-35-0. Remember, he's seen as a T20 specialist... is he lacking bowling stamina late in the day?

    Ben Stokes pulls another boundary down to fine leg as England motor along merrily.

  26. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Nick: I have needed to toilet for about 20 mins, I don't dare go for what I might miss. How can Test cricket be dying?

  27. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "You've got to give the South Africa captaincy to AB de Villiers."

  28. Eng 311-5 (run-rate 3.70)

    This has been spectacularly bad captaincy from Hashim Amla. He allowed Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow to play themselves in against part-time medium pacers and then chucked the new ball to his two inexperienced pace bowlers while Morne Morkel grazes in the outfield. The Proteas are retreating towards the dressing room 15 minutes before the close... their field resembles a one-day field when a batsman is smiting boundary after boundary. The two slips deflect from a defensive outlook in which the boundaries are reinforced.

    Not that it prevents Jonny Bairstow hitting a four through the covers which makes him the 100th man to score 1000 Test runs for England.

  29. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Hymers College

    D Elstone: How about Hymers College in Hull?

  30. Eng 303-5 (Stokes 68, Bairstow 31)

    Ben Stokes is furiously landing blows on a cowering opponent now, smoking four through mid-wicket and then hooking a single with a shot which might have put the ball on to Table Mountain if he'd connected. Jonny Bairstow joins in the fun, poking four behind square to take England beyond 300.

  31. Best ground in the world?

    #bbccricket

  32. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Ben Stokes

    "Once they get going, these lower-order players, you can't stop them. The only way to stop them is to get them out."

  33. Eng 291-5 (Stokes 62 off 79)

    The runs are flowing for Ben Stokes, who picks up Kagiso Rabada's attempted yorker and whips him for two. Stokes hits the ball so hard. I reckon he could hammer a nail into a wall with a pillow. A brute of an all-rounder.

  34. Best ground in the world?

    #bbccricket

  35. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There's always a danger associated with taking a new ball that it comes off the bat nicely as well."

  36. Eng 288-5 (Stokes 59, Bairstow 26)

    Ben Stokes

    Stand and deliver. Ben Stokes is cashing in... crunching another boundary through the off side with a sledgehammer-like follow through.

    And another... the fourth in the over, this time edged through the vacant third slip region. Chris Morris is chastened.

  37. Best ground in the world?

    Sedbergh School

    Martin South: Sedbergh School Cumbria, rather nice.

  38. 50 for Ben Stokes (off 70 balls)

    Eng 279-5

    Ben Stokes

    Shot! Chris Morris pushes the new ball up and Ben Stokes drives it for four. Then the all-rounder slashes the next one over the slip cordon to bring up his half-century. The new ball also brings run-scoring opportunities.

  39. New ball

    Here we go then. South Africa have a new nut in their hand.

  40. Eng 271-5 (Bairstow 26 off 42)

    Lovely shot from Jonny Bairstow who twice bisects the off side field to hit the spinner to the boundary. More easy runs. This partnership is worth 48 now, with Bairstow having faced just nine balls from the main quicks.

  41. Get Involved

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Adrian Knowles, Ipswich: Re that Galle Stadium photo (77 overs), they need a better wicketkeeping coach...

  42. Eng 263-5 (Last 10 overs: 38-0)

    Somebody give me a nudge when the new ball is taken and South Africa have taken off the part-time dobbers.

  43. Best grounds in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Arundel Castle

    Dan White, Liverpool: Arundel Castle, anyone?

  44. Eng 260-5 (Piedt 20-5-55-0)

    One, two, three chances for South Africa to get rid of Ben Stokes. They ask for an lbw, but there's an inside edge and then both the wicketkeeper and first slip are too busy appealing to pouch the ball. Piedt looks a threat on this pitch, which is good too for Moeen Ali.

  45. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "England will be pretty disappointed with where they are. They had such an opportunity to bat South Africa out of the series. It's possible they could still make 500, but if they do they've done it the hard way and not the way they wanted."

  46. Eng 257-5 (Stokes 40, Bairstow 14)

    AB De Villiers, standing at first slip, is completely in the shade as the sun slips behind the ground's floodlights. South Africa continue to give England an easy ride... Dean Elgar given an over and being milked for four singles. Like a pre-new ball giveaway.

  47. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Galle

    Oliver Doward: I took this last month just outside Galle Stadium, school kids playing and an actual cow at cow corner.

  48. Eng 253-5 (Extras: 21)

    Jonny Bairstow misses the ball ahead of Quinto De Kock

    Jonny Bairstow is done like a kipper: Dane Piedt getting one to grip, turn and bounce just over the batsman's unguarded timbers. The ball runs for four byes and Bairstow offers up a curious facial expression. Like a hybrid of 'I was lucky there/Got to laugh, haven't you?/Was that as close as it felt?/Why didn't you tell me it was spinning?'.

  49. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Alisdair Hinton: Surely the 1st pitch at James Taylor's school Shrewsbury is in with a shout. Described by the cricket writer sir Neville Cardus as "the most beautiful playing fields in the world, spreading and imperceptibly mingling with the pasture land of Shropshire".

    Shrewsbury School
  50. Eng 247-5 (Stokes 38, Bairstow 10)

    An England fan

    While Stiaan van Zyl trundles in bowling Ian Austin-style military medium, some England supporters shelter from the sun beneath beer-branded brollies and others chant songs with their tops off and their backs to the cricket. Brits abroad, eh? 

  51. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    James Wilson: Someone needs to get at least a hundred for England to get a decent score. 

  52. Eng 242-5

    When I started up this debate this morning, I knew we'd see a lot of beautiful grounds... but I didn't realise they'd be so plentiful with suggestions ranging from Huddersfield to Helsinki. Fantastic stuff.

    In the middle, Morne Morkel goes big for a caught-behind when Ben Stokes chases one down leg. Nobody else appeals though and Morkel sticks with it just long enough to avoid embarrassment. Like when you celebrate a footballers' shot hitting the side-netting. You feel a bit awkward but go with it anyway.

  53. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Suomenlinna

    Simon Uphill: It may be small with a gravel outfield but the view at the cricket ground on Suomenlinna world heritage fortress island in Helsinki, Finland is lovely.

  54. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I bet Stokes is looking at van Zyl and thinking if this was Saturday afternoon in the leagues I'd plant him where the cows are grazing."

  55. Eng 241-5 (Stokes 37, Bairstow 5)

    Ben Stokes

    Frustration for Ben Stokes as he fails to get hold of a Stiaan van Zyl half-tracker and then middles the next one straight to point.

    He eventually gets one to the ropes with a forceful push through mid-on. The type of shot which has brought Eoin Morgan so many one-day runs. Lots of bottom hand.

  56. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Bandipur

    Bhokraj Gurung: Simplicity - Bandipur, Nepal.

  57. Eng 237-5 (Morkel 16-2-50-1)

    A mixed bag from Jonny Bairstow who is almost tempted into nicking Morne Morkel to the keeper, before he drives the next ball through the covers for four. Nice shot... but will it last?

  58. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "This final hour and 10 minutes will decide who has won the day."

  59. Eng 233-5 (run-rate 3.28)

    Every over that is sent down by Stiaan van Zyl highlights how the balance of South Africa's side is still affected by the retirement of Jacques Kallis back in 2013. England are watchful, as though getting out to the dibbly-dobbly all-rounder incurs a dressing room fine.

  60. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Nicholas Smith: Average score on the first day at Newlands is 272-7. Surely England would feel disappointed with that score after being 167-2?

  61. Eng 232-5 (Stokes 33, Bairstow 0)

    The shadows are starting to lengthen at Newlands, with the imposing floodlights creating large silhouettes on the bowler's run-up. Ben Stokes continues to look in pristine nick as he plays a straight batted drive through mid-on for four.  He then clubs another boundary, this time through the off side. Runs are coming thick and fast for the Durham bruiser.

  62. Get Involved

    Djamel Makhlouf: 350 is the bare minimum acceptable score for England. You wouldn't put money on them getting it though!

  63. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Sherborne Shcool

    James Francis: There’s no argument, the best cricket ground in the world is simply The Upper at Sherborne School. Even has its own microclimate.

  64. Post update

    Alison Mitchell

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a beach ball that's made its way into Newlands, being tossed around underneath the oak trees, as well as a very long beer snake!"

  65. Eng 223-5

    Hashim Amla

    Everyone watching this game - bar Hashim Amla and Stiaan van Zyl - cannot believe the South Africa captain has given another over to his part-time medium pacer with England wobbling. Ben Stokes doesn't take any bait though and limits himself to a single to the boundary rider. 

  66. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Jonathan Horrocks: Sloppy from England this. We need a big innings from Bairstow and Stokes.

  67. How's stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    Joe Root

    "Joe Root has made five fifties since his most recent century, against Australia at Trent Bridge in August."

  68. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think South Africa have done alright today, England have not got away. They won the toss and got the chance to bat on a hot sunny day on a flat pitch. Remember two of South Africa's seam bowlers and their spinner are new to Test cricket."

  69. WICKET

    Root c de Kock b Morris 50 (Eng 223-5)

    Chris Morris celebrates

    Joseph! What are you doing playing at that? A loose shot outside off stump presents South Africa with another opening they barely deserve. Hats off to Chris Morris for his first Test wicket, mind.

  70. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    Joe Root

    "Rabada rattled him with a good short ball at one stage but since then he's just played with such a good tempo, rotated the strike and looked busy on both the back and front foot. He's looked like a man in form who knows what he wants to do."

  71. 50 for Root (off 78 balls)

    Eng 221-4

    Joe Root

    Players like Joe Root are born once every 25-30 years. He really is special. No matter who the bowler, what the pitch and whatever conditions he is faced with, he delivers. After a glorious drive down the ground takes him to within a single of another half-century, he brings up the landmark with a deft one to mid-wicket.

  72. Post update

  73. Eng 217-4 (Root 45 off 75)

    Time for some wobbly seam-up from Styiaan van Zyl who has a man on the drive in case England go driving. It's all a bit obvious. Like leaving your car keys in the engine... if your motor gets nicked, you've only yourself to blame. A single brings up the 50 partnership. Momentum shifting.

  74. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Milton Abbey School

    Gavin Cookman: Milton Abbey School.

  75. Eng 216-4

    Ben Stokes looks like he might go hard at Chris Morris, but then plays an extravagant leave. Rather like a boxer threatening to lead with the jab but then realising he might get flattened by a sucker-punch if he goes through with it. Just one from the over.

  76. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    Ben Stokes and Joe Root run

    "There's just a little acceleration from England. Since that review they've managed to hit a few boundaries. From a South African perspective, with 16 overs before the new ball they would have been hoping for one more wicket "

  77. Eng 215-4 (Root 43, Stokes 23)

    Ben Stokes

    Ben Stokes has, unfairly, got a reputation with some as a bit of a slogger because he hits the ball so hard. He's actually one of the most technically correct in the England side, pushing a single down the ground to turn the strike over.

    Then, after watching Joe Root hit another boundary, he slog-sweeps the spinner for six. What was I saying?

  78. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Morkel hasn't quite found the right length consistently today." 

  79. Eng 203-4 (run-rate: 3.17)

    Joe Root

    Dreamy stuff from Joe Root, who stands on his toes in the crease and caresses four through the off side to start up chants of Rooooooooooooooooooooooooot! in the stands. The boy's special.

  80. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Martin: The DRS process still needs some refinement IMO. shouldn't be able to check LBW if you review for caught behind.

  81. Eng 193-4 (Root 33, Stokes 15)

    If Joe Root is like water because of his ability to find gaps, what's Ben Stokes? A pale ale? Solid, gritty, acquired taste? Likely to explode if shook up near a locker. 

    Alastair Cook? He's a cup of tea. It's difficult not to like him and he's the go-to man.

    Back to the action, where Stokes smokes a full toss over the leg side for four.

  82. Best ground in the world?

    #bbccricket

  83. Not out

    Eng 188-4

    Nah, no edge. Just pad.

    On to ball tracking... the ball is trampolining over the stumps. South Africa lose a review.

  84. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "They were appealing for caught behind but they're going to have to run the technology to check the lbw."

  85. South Africa review

    What's happened here then? Morne Morkel thinks he's got Ben Stokes caught behind via an inside edge off the pad. The umpire says no, so South Africa review it. Joe Root tells his mate he's OK.

  86. Eng 188-4

    Joe Root

    Joe Root is brilliant at picking up ones and twos - the type of player who is on 30 not out before you've even noticed he's walked to the crease. He's like water - if there's a hole/gap in the field, he'll find it. 

  87. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "I didn't think this morning that I'd be saying it's been South Africa's day, but you can't deny at the moment it is. They'd have settled for this with four wickets down. England really should have batted South Africa out of the match today."

  88. Eng 185-4 (Stokes 11 off 18)

    Chris Morris

    Ben Stokes, with his sweat-soaked, tattooed muscles glistening in the sun, pounces when Chris Morris slides one down leg and the ball whistles to the boundary with nothing more than a firm push. The type of force which you'd apply to shut a stubborn freezer drawer. Good timing.

    Morris is getting hot under the collar in the afternoon sun and returns one forward defensive with interest. Getting grouchy.

  89. Best ground in the world?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Limuru

    Andrew Hart: Spiritual home of Nairobi Nomads CC, the Limuru ground was built by farmers in 1926 and offers the unique experience of every player except for the batsman and keeper having to walk uphill to their positions. Batting in a bowl makes a great excuse for the odd agricultural shot!

  90. Eng 179-4 (Root 29, Stokes 5)

    Morne Morkel replaces Kagiso Rabada and he too keeps it tight. Just one from the over.

  91. Best ground in the world?

    #bbccricket

    Stonor

    Michael Lumsden: Stunning ground at Stonor (National Theatre CC vs the V&A 2013).

  92. Eng 178-4 (Morris 14-2-44-0)

    It's fair to say South Africa have got a decent grip on England's scoring rate here - they're 21-2 in the last 10 overs. Joe Root and Ben Stokes, as they've shown before, won't be kept quiet for too long though. Who will blink first?

  93. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

  94. Eng 176-4 (Root 27, Stokes 4)

    Kagiso Rabada has a lovely fluid action and, combined with this natural athleticism, it's helping him to bowl at 90mph in his 17th over on a long, sweaty day in Cape Town. It feels as if South Africa are one wicket from really worrying England. Ben Stokes, for now, remains resolute and leaves well while playing straight to those homing in on the sponsor's yellow stumps.

  95. Get Involved

  96. Eng 173-4 (Eng won toss)

    If Chris Morris wasn't such a good cricketer, he'd make a decent headmaster. He's very stern in his demeanor, the cricketing Robert Huth. His grimace lengthens when Joe Root edges four through the slips. The irony being that Morris would have had a good chance of catching that if he was in the cordon. 

  97. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "England consistently let teams they're up against back into the contest with some weak dismissals. Look at Durban - they went from 190-3 to 303 all out.  It happened in the UAE. Look back at the Ashes series and even New Zealand at Headingley."  

  98. Eng 169-4 (Root 23, Stokes 2)

    Ben Stokes

    Ben Stokes, as many of his team-mates did before him, gets off the mark with a flick off his legs. 

  99. Get involved

    #bbccricket

    James Taylor walks off as the South Africa players celebrate

    James Gulleford: England throwing away a good position again. Same old problem, batsmen get in but can't go on to make big scores.

    Simon Goodall: Sorry Taylor that's a shocker. Irresponsible first ball after tea.

    Adam Lee: Here he is! Big old Calypso Collapso making his return into this England side.

  100. Hat-trick ball

    Eng 167-4

    Ben Stokes is thrown into Kagiso's path and nervously prods forward to the hat-trick ball delivered by the rampant new boy.

  101. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    James Taylor

    "It's a really bad shot. It's a big extravagant drive. South Africa are right back in the Test match."

  102. WICKET

    Taylor c de Kock b Rabada 0 (Eng 167-4)

    Kagiso Rabada celebrates

    Distastrous for England, as James Taylor loosely edges behind to the first ball after tea. They check for the no-ball - and it's close - but Taylor isn't getting a reprieve this time and Kagiso Rabada is on a hat-trick.

    He took a hat-trick on his ODI debut...

  103. Best ground in the world?

    #bbccricket

    Sir William Hoste CC
  104. Get involved

    #bbccricket

    Tim Nutting: So Alex Hales the dasher and Nick Compton the blocker had the exact same strike rate!

  105. Post update

    We'll be getting under way in Cape Town shortly. James Taylor will be the man striding out alongside Joe Root after the loss of Nick Compton before tea.

  106. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    Jonathan Horrocks: England in danger of not cashing in on good starts here. We have a chance to pile on the pressure.

  107. Post update

    Some interesting chat on Sky Sports during the tea break. They say James Anderson was swinging the ball in practice yesterday, which South Africa's much taller bowlers have so far failed to do. Promising?

  108. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a great shame that South Africa have lost a couple of players to injury. It would have been great if you'd had Steyn, Morkel, Philander versus Finn, Broad and Anderson. That's three quality seamers on either side."

  109. Best ground in the world?

    tms@bbc.co.uk

    Trinity College
  110. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There's virtually nothing in this surface for the bowlers. But South Africa have worked hard."

  111. Post update

    Afternoon all, Marc Higginson here checking in for the final session.

    More of the same please, England.

  112. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a steady session, nothing sparkling or scintillating, just nice steady batting, almost like the first session. That's OK. If I was in the dressing room I'd be comfortable."

  113. Tea scorecard

    England 167-3 (55.2 overs)

    Batsmen: Root 23* (42)

    Bowling figures: Morkel 12-2-36-1, Morris 12-2-38-0, Rabada 15.2-2-58-2, Piedt 16-5-33-0

    Fall of wickets: 55-1 (Cook 27), 129-2 (Hales 60), 167-3 (Compton 45)

    England won the toss

  114. Get involved

    #bbccricket

    Ant Man: Compton and Bairstow have a knack of looking good, getting themselves in and throwing it all away. What a waste.

  115. Celebrating the scorer

  116. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Kagiso Rabda and Temba Bavuma celebrate

    "He had plenty of time to play it, got in a good position - he just hit it at the man. We've all done it from time to time. It wasn't a bad shot - he didn't try to hit it too hard."

  117. Tea interval - Eng 167-3

    And with that, the players will take tea. Compton trudges off, Root and the South Africans follow him - and it's time for a breather all round.

  118. WICKET

    Compton c Bavuma b Rabada 45 (Eng 167-3)

    Kagiso Rabada celebrates

    Not for the first time today, I spoke too soon. Short from Rabada, Compton rocks back and pulls powerfully - but straight to Temba Bavuma low at mid-wicket. A sucker punch for England.

  119. Get Involved

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    Graham Yapp: I think I'm the only person on Earth marking test papers on nuclear magnetic resonance whilst listening to the Test Match.

  120. Eng 167-2

    Compton's batting, erratic at times today, has settled down somewhat. Three easy runs off his legs off Piedt take him to 45 and England to 167-2. The tourists will be happy with this.

  121. Best ground in the world?

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  122. Eng 164-2

    Kagiso Rabada

    Impressive from Rabada - he's got something about him, the youngster. Root is content to see out the rest of that over. Time for two more before tea, I suspect.

  123. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "He went to pull or hook but pulled out, the ball hit the bat and went straight up in the air but the slip couldn't get there and neither could the bowler. Lucky."

  124. Close!

    Eng 164-2

    Kagiso Rabada reacts after Joe Root is almost caught

    What was I saying...? Rabada finds pace and bounce, Root is squared up and his bat is pointing straight up when the ball hits it. It loops a yard or so behind Root, and even AB de Villiers can't quite get there as he charges in from second slip and flings himself forward full length. Agonisingly close for South Africa.

  125. Best ground in the world?

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  126. Eng 164-2

     That spell from Morkel lasted only four overs, despite it containing a wicket and a dropped catch. Harsh captaincy. Piedt continues - and Root has to assert his authority and snub Compton's calls for a silly single. There's no doubt which England batsman is in charge out there. Ten minutes until tea. England's session so far.

  127. Get Involved

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    Alex Hubbard: Blinked when Hales got out and when my eyes opened again Root was 21*

  128. Eng 163-2

    Joe Root

    That Alex Hales wicket seems a while ago now, such has been Root's calming influence (that edged drive to Morris aside). Busy at the crease, alert between the wickets and even dominant with his calling, his batting exudes authority. As has been the case several times today, the returning Rabada wastes much good work in that over by slipping one down the leg side.

  129. Post update

  130. Eng 162-2 (Compton 42, Root 21)

    Dane Piedt's breather didn't last long - he's back on in place of Rabada. With only one fielder saving one on the leg side, it's easy pickings for the fleet-footed Root. Compton, possibly persuaded by a rare turner that defeats his cut stroke, follows suit by dancing down the pitch and playing with the spin. Think middle overs in one-day game and you get the idea.

  131. Get Involved

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    Claude Makelele

    Khael Malik: Compton is the Makelele of cricket. Efficient, dependable and leaves the fancy stuff to others. I hope I haven't jinxed him.

    Mike Bryan-Jones: Compton everything you want from a number 3, won't allow wickets to fall in clusters and will always put the bad ball away

  132. Eng 158-2

    Morkel is South Africa's most experienced, threatening and best bowler, yet he has sent down the fewest overs today - this is his 12th. After banging away at his favoured back-of-a-length-outside-off-stump approach, he almost catches Compton out with a full one. Jonathan Trott Mk II survives - and has 41 to his name by the end of an over yielding two singles.

  133. Best ground in the world?

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  134. Eng 157-2

    Chris Morris and Faf Du Plessis

    Morris is just describing to Faf du Plessis which part of his fingertips he managed to get on that Root chance. The very ends, judging by the replay. Meanwhile, Root scampers an all-run four off Rabada - after another uncharacteristic misfield.

  135. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Dropped, and there was all sorts of a mix-up with the running there. That's poor cricket. It was a dreadful shot from Root."

  136. Root dropped on 13

    Eng 153-2

    Joe Root edges a ball to Chris Morris

    Ooooh! Nearly another absolute scorcher from Morris. The finer of two gullies, he leaps full length to his left but can only palm it round the post. It's such a good effort he even gets a pat on the bum from his colleagues. Apart from Morkel, the bowler. Root lives to fight another day after that rash drive - and Compton rubs salt into South African wounds with a leg glance for four to end the over.

  137. Post update

  138. Eng 147-2 (Compton 36, Root 12)

    Kagiso Rabada

    Paceman Kagiso Rabada back into the attack, in place of off-spinner Dane Piedt. South Africa could do with another wicket here - they'll know that if Root gets in, he tends to stay in. An authoritative pull for four from the new man at the crease is ominous for the hosts. A misfield helps him take two more - he has 12 off 13 balls already.

  139. Get Involved

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    Ben Silva: Shame De Villiers hasn't his wk gloves on, would have spilled that last Test!

    Mickey Wallis: Incredibly frustrating. Just when you think Hales will go on he gets a peach. But at least Rooty's in! Think he'll go big today.

  140. Eng 140-2

    No doubt Hales' supposed vulnerability outside off stump will get mentioned again now. It's got all the makings of book title - Alex Hales and the Corridor of Uncertainty maybe? On saying that, it was a good nut. You could argue he didn't have to play, but then again that's what he's there for. Three off the over for Root.

  141. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Hales will be disappointed because he'll have been starting to think three figures, thinking he might get his first Test century in only his second match"

  142. Eng 137-2

    Is this the opening South Africa needed? Root is the new man - he watches Compton punch a rare short one from Piedt to cover's left for a boundary before opening his own account with a leg-side single.

  143. How's Stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "That's 200 dismissals in the field for AB de Villiers in Test cricket."

  144. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's going straight to first slip but De Villiers is a great catcher. He saw it and he wanted it."

  145. WICKET

    Hales c De Villiers b Morkel 60 (Eng 129-2)

    Morne Morkel celebrates

    Yes, Morne can! Inspired bowling change and well bowled by the big man. It's short, Hales - after leaving a couple - can't resist this time and he pokes at it, neither forward nor back. AB de Villiers dives from second slip right in front of first slip to take a splendid catch. Good job he grabbed it.  

  146. Scorecard update

    England 128-1 (43 overs)

    Batsmen: Hales 60* (136), Compton 30* (76)

    Bowling: Morkel 8-2-23-0, Morris 12-2-38-0, Rabada 11-1-45-1, Piedt 12-5-20-0

    Fall of wickets: 1-55 (Cook, 27)

    England won the toss

  147. Eng 128-1

    Morne Morkel

    Chances have been few and far between for South Africa today - remember, their only wicket came courtesy of a blinding catch from Morris at third slip to remove Alastair Cook. Where are nine more wickets going to come from? Morne Morkel is handed the ball - can he provide the answer?

  148. How's Stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    Nick Compton

    "There were 34 runs in the first five overs after lunch and only 18 in 11 overs since then."

  149. Drinks break

    Eng 128-1 (Piedt 12-5-20-0)

    If there's precious little spin for Piedt, there's even less bounce. Hales almost blocks that with the toe of his bat as Piedt wheels away on or around off stump. The offie could be in for a heavy workload in this innings... And that's drinks.

  150. Best ground in the world?

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    Cockington Hill
  151. Eng 128-1

    I've never understood this about cricket. Morris bowls, Compton defends back down the pitch, Morris picks the ball up... then throws it to the wicketkeeper, who then passes it to slip and round the ring of fielders, presumably just so the designated ball polisher can keep himself busy. A strange breed, cricketers. A sliced Compton drive - slightly uppish - for four through point is the closest we come to a chance in that over.

  152. Get Involved

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    Jason Whitley: Well done Alex Hales for being England's leading run scorer in 2016 so far.

    Cannes Apartments: I like Compton. Great temperament and just what we need after the past troubles with number 3. Get off his back.  

  153. Eng 124-1

    This ball may be 40 overs old but Piedt is struggling to find even the slightest hint of turn. A tough assignment for a spinner on day-one pitch. A single apiece for Hales and Compton, easy pickings.

  154. Best ground in the world?

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  155. Eng 122-1 (Morris 11-2-34-0)

    Chris Morris doesn't look like the sort of chap who spends much time doing his hair in the morning. Sweat-stained and sporting the sort of fringe the naughty kids had at high school, he continues to charge in. Hales helps himself to four off his hips to fine leg, a gimme. Morris' reply? A bouncer which soars over Hales' head.

  156. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I've enjoyed Piedt today. There hasn't been a huge amount on offer but his consistency has been good and he's used the breeze beautifully. He's got a little bit of drift and his lines have been really good."

  157. Eng 117-1

    Nice to have you with us, Piers. Good New Year? Get up to much?

    South Africa have got their act together now. Much, much tidier. Piedt twirling, Hales pushing - and picking out the fielders until he collects one to long-on.

  158. Best ground in the world?

  159. Eng 116-1

    Morris keeps hammering that channel outside off stump, trying to draw the batsmen into an ill-judged stroke. If you'd asked me half an hour ago, I would have said you've got no chance of making our Nick play anything close to a rash shot. Judging by what's gone on in the 40 minutes since lunch, a Compton defensive stroke comes as a surprise. He surprises me by seeing out a maiden.

  160. Best ground in the world?

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  161. Eng 116-1

    Hales has a peculiar stance. A tall chap, he hunches over his bat initially before standing tall as the bowler runs in, his bat almost perpendicular in his backlift, periscope-like. A sort of exaggerated Graham Gooch. You can tell he is keen to keep it moving, but that's a maiden from Piedt.

  162. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    Nick Compton

    "If I was out there I'd probably be niggling Compton a little bit. I'd definitely be counting the dot balls that he'd faced. He's the type of guy who looks like he spends a lot of time analysing his game and thinking about it."

  163. Eng 116-1 (Hales 53, Compton 23)

    And a change of bowling, Chris Morris replacing Kagiso Rabada. He has skittish Compton playing and missing as he aims an expansive drive, then beats him again later in the over, with the batsman's feet stuck in porridge. Moral victories for the bowler but no more.

  164. Best ground in the world?

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  165. Eng 114-1

    Tidy from Piedt. Just the one run from the over. South Africa steadying themselves after that frantic start to the afternoon session.

  166. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If you get a platform in the morning session by the batsmen playing sensibly, even if you lose one wicket, at 79-1 you've got a platform.  At 80-3 there are wobbles and that's where England have been too often. If you get a platform, the afternoon and evening session is for the batsmen then."

  167. Eng 113-1 (Hales 53, Compton 22)

    Kagiso Rabada

    AB de Villiers, at second slip, fiddles with his floppy hat like a wedding guest ensuring her fascinator is perfectly placed. Rabada, youthful and loose limbed, charges in at the tall Hales, who plays some high-elbowed drives into the cover ring. Just a single from the over.

  168. Post update

  169. Eng 112-1

    Nick Compton

    Victory of sorts for Dane Piedt as he pushes one past the outside edge of Nick Compton - I think that's the first time that Compton has been beaten since the lunch break. Apart from that, it looks rather straightforward for England at the moment.

  170. Get Involved

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    Charles Rowlands: Nick Compton just hit a four and a six in 3 balls. Frankly, would have been less surprised to see Denis Compton do it.

    Hans Pinkard: So Compton can't "go through the gears", eh? Whatever that means.

    Richard Higgins: Hales and Compton must have had had the Big Bash on in the lunch break!

  171. Eng 110-1

    Fetch that! Rabada, now armed with three slips, is driven imperiously through cover for four by Compton, who even allowed himself the full follow-through.

  172. How's stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Hales' fifty is the first half-century by an opening partner of Alastair Cook in 10 Test matches going back to Adam Lyth's century against New Zealand at Headingley last summer."

  173. Eng 104-1

    Dane Piedt

    Compton's at it again, sweeping Piedt for four before drilling him back over his head for a resounding six. England fairly rattling along after lunch.

  174. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Hales played nicely this morning - there's no need for that flurry. It's not a good sign for other Test matches to come."