Captain Joe Root rides his luck to lead from the front

Captain Joe Root rides his luck to lead from the front

A sense of normality was established during the next 20 overs as Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla put on 72 runs, but a brace of quick wickets for Ali, taking him past test 100 wickets, and a second wicket for Broad reduced South Africa to 104-4.

Even so‚ how South Africa might go about engineering victory is hard to fathom‚ especially as they will bat last on a pitch that is deteriorating quickly.

When Cook reached 51 not out, he had a grand total of 11,111 Test runs.

Broad's morning beano with the bat saw him record a first Test fifty in four years and he then claimed a wicket in his opening over after lunch.

Spinner Moeen also made 87 in the first innings before tormenting the Proteas with the ball to get on the honours board for the first time, generating sharp turn to bamboozle the tourists.

A slide of four wickets for 10 runs in 39 balls was complete when Rabada trapped Ben Stokes in front for a single. They are without Faf du Plessis for this Test after he remained at home following the birth of his first child and will be without Kagiso Rabada for the second Test after he was suspended for a code of conduct violation.

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.

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Spin then predictably did much of the damage on a decidedly helpful surface, as Moeen (six for 53) finished with a 10-wicket match haul and Liam Dawson did his bit too.

The first task is obviously to avoid the follow on although it is unlikely that Root will explore that option with the pitch already providing substantial assistance to the spinners from the second day and the odd delivery keeping low as well, although admittedly large from the bowler's rough outside thee line of the stumps.

While from South African side pacer Vernon Philander gave the starting to the bowling side what they had asked for, they bowled outstandingly before the lunch, they picked early wickets but once Joe Root was set on the crease the South African bowlers found no way to go.

South Africa's misery was contrasted however by Cook and England's elation, who despite these unsettling first ten overs cruised on through till tea. South Africa need to improve at this and quickly.

Meanwhile, South Africa coach Russell Domingo has once again left the tour to be with his mother, who is seriously ill.

Broad could also have been given out lbw on 4, but South Africa chose not to review, and he later saw Amla fail to hold a hard slip catch off the top edge. Gary Ballance was unbeaten at stumps, on 22.

England had earlier scored a bit more freely post lunch following a hard first session in which they lost seven for 63, with Morné Morkel and Keshav Maharaj to the fore for the Proteas.

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