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England v South Africa: first Test, day two – live!


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Key events

Lunch! SA’s openers survive

12th over: South Africa 27-0 (Elgar 12, Erwee 13) Potts, bowling to Erwee, is too far outside off, and even bowls a wide, which is quite an achievement in Test cricket. So the openers make it through to the feast that famously awaits the players at Lord’s. The morning belongs to South Africa, who made things happen in the first hour (four for 49) and made hardly anything happen in the second (27 for none). Jimmy Anderson was good with the ball, but he and Stuart Broad haven’t played for over a month, so there was some rust. They should be sharper after lunch. See you in half an hour.

Dean Elgar has played well up to lunch for South Africa.
Dean Elgar has played well up to lunch for South Africa. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
James Anderson toils in the sun.
James Anderson toils in the sun. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock

11th over: South Africa 26-0 (Elgar 12, Erwee 13) Stokes is itching to make something happen before the break. He see the field he has set for Anderson – four slips and a gully – and decides it’s not attacking enough, so he brings in a sixth catcher at short cover. He does this without consulting Anderson, who is walking back to his mark, and is understandably put out. The consequence is that nothing happens. Elgar plays out another maiden, and Anderson has 6-2-5-0.

10th over: South Africa 26-0 (Elgar 12, Erwee 13) Just when Broad was bowling better, Ben Stokes takes him off – perhaps to change ends, or just to give the admirable Potts a go before lunch. The ploy nearly works as Potts lures Elgar into a crooked poke and a thick nick, but Crawley at second slip can only tip it over the bar as it flies over his head (and he is tall). Before that Potts tried to york Erwee, who responded well and played his first scoring shot in the V.

9th over: South Africa 18-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 10) Erwee, facing Anderson, goes into double figures with another unconvincing stroke, a thick inside edge. But he survives, which is all that is being asked of him with ten minutes to go till lunch. On this evidence he may be a champion nurdler.

Elgar saved by a review!

8th over: South Africa 17-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 9) Broad jags one back, cuts Elgar in half, hears a nick, convinces the ump it’s caught behind – but Elgar reviews straight away and the replay shows that it only flicked the pad. That could bring LBW into play, and it is straight enough, just too high. So Broad misses out on his 100th wicket at Lord’s, but like his partner, he’s warming to the task here.

Stuart Broad appeals for the wicket of Elgar. So close.
Stuart Broad appeals for the wicket of Elgar. So close. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

7th over: South Africa 16-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 8) Hang on, Jimmy’s found his mojo. He produces the ball of the morning, leaving Elgar so sharply that there’s no chance of an edge, and then rattles the pads with the one that comes back in. The only run from the over was a Harrow drive by Erwee that could easily have hit his leg stump. The fella aged 40 now has figures of 4-1-4-0.

6th over: South Africa 15-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 7) Broad to Erwee, and this is a maiden. A graphic shows that England’s seamers have found more swing than South Africa’s and have bowled a fuller length. But they haven’t, as yet, been as threatening.

“Hello,” says Michael Avery. “I’m sure you mean well but it would be great if this box could be unpinned. I just want to read the OBO and check up on how badly England are doing. Thanks a million.” That may be above my pay grade.

5th over: South Africa 15-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 7) Erwee bides his time against Anderson, seeing off five dots before shovelling to deep square for two. Matthew Potts, running round to field, ends up taking a huge divot out of the turf, but he seems too be fine. Happens all the time in Durham.

“Is Ian Bell still in the ground?” asks Tricycle. “Just wondering, y’know…” Ha. Ollie Pope’s innings did ring a Bell.

4th over: South Africa 13-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 5) Erwee, facing Broad, opens his account at the bank of England with a tuck for four. Broad fights back, moving the ball enough to find a leading edge, whereupon Erwee produces a retort too, pushing into the covers for a single to nick the strike. His name may look like Er-wee! but it seems to be pronounced Er-veer. Or Er-via, as in Via Dolorosa.

3rd over: South Africa 8-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 0) Anderson would love a full over at Erwee, but a leg-bye gets in the way. Still, this is a maiden as both batters are watchful. In a Guardian exclusive, I can reveal that the South Africans are not playing Bazball.

2nd over: South Africa 7-0 (Elgar 7, Erwee 0) At the other end it’s Stuart Broad, who is (whisper it) a bit lucky to be in the team now that Ollie Robinson is fit and firing. Broad’s Test bowling average this summer is 38, whereas Anderson’s is 18 and Potts’s is 26. In his first over here Broad pitches it up without finding the movement he’s looking for, so Elgar helps himself to a push for four through mid-on and another one for two past cover.

“The new messaging format caught me off-guard this morning,” says Tom. “A bit like when Twitter or Facebook suddenly change their layout. I hope it’s not due to journalists receiving unpleasant trolling and abuse to their work emails.” Don’t think so – thankfully, 99 per cent of you guys are far too good for that.

“I also like the anonymity it gives… Some of my early OBO comments from the mid-noughties potentially contradict the professional image I now try to present.” Ha.

1st over: South Africa 1-0 (Elgar 1, Erwee 0) Anderson gets some movement straight away, coming around the wicket to the left-handed Dean Elgar, finding bounce as well as outswing. When he brings one back in, Ben Foakes pulls off a fine diving take but it’s off the pad. Elgar plays tip-and-run, dabbing into the covers. For Sarel Erwee, Anderson comes over the wicket but his radar goes wrong for once and the ball drifts down the leg side, untouched.

You can probably guess who’s going to bowl the first over.

Well bowled South Africa. But 165 isn’t quite the abyss England were staring into at 55 for four. Without Ollie Pope’s punchy 73, they would have been bundled out in double figures. The ball was swinging, if anything, too much for Rabada this morning, so let’s see what Jimmy Anderson has up his sleeve.

Only one Test wicket has been taken by a 40-something English seamer in the past 50 years: Michael Slater at Brisbane in 1994, c Gatting b Gooch, for 176. If Jimmy’s next victim has 176 to his name, this game will be a goner.

Wicket! Anderson LBW b Rabada 0 (England 165 all out)

Rabada has five! Anderson, facing his first ball, misses an inswinger on leg stump and reviews because he might as well, but it’s plumb. Rabada leads the South Africans off and holds up the ball to the crowd. He fully deserves his place on the honours board.

Kagiso Rabada goes up on the honours board at Lord’s.
Kagiso Rabada goes up on the honours board at Lord’s. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/Reuters
James Anderson is out.
James Anderson is out. Photograph: Ben Whitley/ProSports/Shutterstock

45th over: England 164-9 (Potts 5, Anderson 0) Jack Leach, who will always be celebrated for making 1 not out off 17 balls, is now the kind of guy who makes 15 off 17.

And here comes a man in his 40s – Sir James Anderson. The crowd, many of whom are a lot older than that, give him a warm welcome.

This bird already has more runs than James Anderson.
This bird already has more runs than James Anderson. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock

Wicket! Leach b Jansen 15 (England 164-9)

Castled! Jansen angles the ball in at middle-and-leg, swings it away and hits the top of off. Leach can be flattered that it took that good a ball to get rid of him.

That. Is. Out.
That. Is. Out. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

43rd over: England 160-8 (Potts 4, Leach 12) Rabada to Potts: more of the same – a swing (from both of them) and a miss. Rabada picks up a maiden: he now has 18-3-51-4.

“Please tell me,” says Michael Lynes, “this is a joke: ‘All champagne corks popped into the boundary will be collected by underprivileged children during breaks.’” It is a joke.

42nd over: England 160-8 (Potts 4, Leach 12) A little victory for the England tail: they’ve seen off Nortje, whose chances of making the honours board are now looking slim. On comes Marco Jansen, who is taller but also slower. Jack Leach celebrates with a controlled slash over the slips for four and a confident cover shovel for four more.

“Hi Tim,” says an old friend of the OBO. “What’s with the send us your thoughts panels? Is this something just imposed by the Guardian’s legal people? If so, there really ought to be a reason given for this sudden requirement. Or are OBO writers getting too many emails to cope with them all? Yours frequently, John Starbuck.”

It’s an experiment involving all the live blogs. You and I are just the guinea pigs!

41st over: England 152-8 (Potts 4, Leach 4) Rabada continues, mostly wobbling the ball about on fourth stump, far too good to draw an edge from Potts, but the one straight delivery is well handled with a shove to midwicket for two.

40th over: England 150-8 (Potts 2, Leach 4) We’ve had a few slogs, now we need a proper tail-end squirt through the slips for four. And here is Jack Leach to provide it. He gets off the mark and brings up the 150. Not bad after being 55 for four.

“The OBO is my absolute favourite,” says Trevor. “I read it as it is witty and a way of being at the ground when you can’t be at the ground.” Thanks! (Trade secret: I’m not at the ground either.)

39th over: England 146-8 (Potts 2, Leach 0) That was a bit brainless from Broad, who had just remembered that it is possible to move over to the off side and push to leg, which brought him two. Still, 15 is about par from him these days.

“Morning Tim, morning everyone,” says Andrew. “I’m just trying this new-fangled comment box option. Do you prefer this to being emailed?”

I couldn’t possibly comment.

Wicket! Broad c Elgar b Rabada 15 (England 145-8)

Broad steps away to Rabada, so far that he does well to reach the ball – and can only give some gentle catching practice to gully. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Stuart Broad trundles back to the pavilion for 15.
Stuart Broad trundles back to the pavilion for 15. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

38th over: England 143-7 (Broad 13, Potts 2) After being given four for weaving at that bouncer, Broad is in the mood. He steps back to leg and hits Nortje for four with a rasping cross-court forehand. Then he bunts him past mid-on for three. Nortje is the Brett Lee de nos jours – he comes bearing runs as well as wickets.

Potts, joining in the fun, slices a drive over cover for two. And England have their highest first-innings total in a Test at Lord’s in 2022.

37th over: England 134-7 (Broad 6, Potts 0) Here’s Matthew Potts, who already seems like a senior player after four Tests. Rabada greets him with a yorker which he does well to jab down on. Then there’s a big outswinger, too wide to tempt Potts to his doom. But that’s another fine over from Rabada, who now has all of England’s top three in the bag.

Wicket! Pope b Rabada 73 (England 134-7)

Played on! Pope again goes after a wide one, and this time it’s fatal as he gets an inside edge onto his stumps. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Gone for 73!
Gone for 73! Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock

36th over: England 134-6 (Pope 73, Broad 6) Purposeful as ever, Pope on-drives Nortje for two. Dean Elgar, either being pragmatic or blinking first, sends a cover sweeper out, so Pope’s next square drive yields only a single. Nortje gives Broad a bouncer, a real steepler, which goes for four byes – no, four runs. Not sure even Broad is tall enough to hit that one.

35th over: England 127-6 (Pope 70, Broad 2) Pope, undaunted by that narrow escape, lunges out at a wide one from Rabada and square-drives for three. Broad gets bat on ball at last with his big mow, lofting over mid-off and taking a couple. Rabada retorts with a yorker, too good for Broad, but too swingy to trouble the stumps.

34th over: England 122-6 (Pope 67, Broad 0) As expected, it’s Anrich Nortje taking precedence over Lungi Ngidi after his fiery three-for yesterday. This time he’s too wide outside off stump and Stuart Broad has a few wafts without getting his bat in the right postcode.

Pope dropped! On 67

33rd over: England 122-6 (Pope 67, Broad 0) Pope gets the scoreboard moving second ball with a push past mid-off for two. That’s the shot Jonny Bairstow was trying to play when he was bowled for 0. Pope follows up with a hook for four, more of a help-round-the-corner, not entirely convincing but safe enough. Next he chases a wide one, pushing it to cover. Steady on, Ollie… And then he nicks a beauty to first slip, where Sarel Erwee manages to drop it – not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times! Glorious stuff.

The players are out there and so is the sun. Ollie Pope, England’s lone star of the game so far, is ready to face the first ball from Kagiso Rabada.

Back in the real world, Andrew Strauss and his sons Sam and Luca are on the field to mark Red For Ruth day. Andrew is in his red suit, like a dad going to a teenage party as The Joker. Sam and Luca are in red T-shirts and red bucket hats, like two kids at a festival. What he lacks in terms of hair, they more than make up with the sort of fluffy long-at-the-front look that you would have seen on the cover of Smash Hits in 1983.

“Today at Lord’s,” says Den Wise, “it’s ‘give a cork, help an urchin’ day to show solidarity with hard-working families. All champagne corks popped into the boundary will be collected by underprivileged children during breaks and sold to raise funds for the working class. So go on and remember, at Lord’s, once you pop you cannot stop!”

Oof. Yesterday we had a very middle-class protest by Doctors For Extinction Rebellion. Andy Bull writes very eloquently about it in today’s Guardian. Not a peep from The Times, as far as I could see.

“So,” says Nick, “will England manage to crack 150? To play suicidal attacking cricket with such a long tail seems a bizarre approach!”

Narrator: Most of them got out playing defensive shots.

You’re right to suggest that they may not make it to 150 – but in the last Lord’s Test, they were skittled for 141, and that worked out all right.

“Good morning from Chiswick,” says Ed, “where the weather is looking hopeful for a full day’s cricket. Looking forward to seeing Anderson and Broad wallop it around for half an hour this morning before removing SA’s top five for diddly squat.”

Well, Broad is a walloper, and he’s just been on the telly saying this is not a pitch to “poke and prod” on, because there’ll soon be “a ball with your name on”. But I’m not so sure about Anderson – it’s been some time since he was in touch with his inner slogger.

Correction! Play is not starting at 10.30. According to a tweet from Lord’s itself, the start is at 11am BST. Apologies for misleading you. Cricket, like God, moves in mysterious ways.

The covers are off! And the commentators are wearing red for the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Teamed with black trousers, in the case of Ian Ward and Mike Atherton, while Mel Jones and Andrew Strauss go for the full scarlet suit. I have to say, it works better for her than for him – but total respect to Sir Andrew and his boys for the funds they have raised and the way they’ve turned a sad loss into something so uplifting. If you feel a donation coming on, please go here.

Mel Jones, Ian Ward, Andrew Strauss, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher pose in their Red For Ruth jackets before the start of play on day two.
Mel Jones, Ian Ward, Andrew Strauss, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher pose in their Red For Ruth jackets before the start of play on day two. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Send us your thoughts

This is not a public comment – only the Guardian can see your message. Our writers will monitor these messages and respond to some in the live blog, but unfortunately they will not be able to respond to every message.

You must be 18 or over to fill in this form. We will only use this data for the purpose of improving our live blogs. For more information please read our terms of service and privacy policy.

If you have something sensitive to share with us, contact the Guardian securely.

By submitting your message, you are agreeing to share your details with us, which we may use in this blog.

Preamble: all or nothing

Morning everyone and welcome to the second day of a series that has already proved to be gripping (if also dripping). We begin today with a quiz question. What’s next in this sequence: 136, 162, 71, 106, 114?

The answer is … 0. That’s what Jonny Bairstow scored yesterday, as the purplest patch of his long Test career was rudely interrupted by a fast straight ball from Anrich Nortje. One minute you’re racking up 589 for three times out, the next you’re being escorted off the field by Daddles the duck.

Amazon’s All Or Nothing is the right title in the wrong sport. The Arsenal season covered in the latest series was neither all nor nothing – they finished fifth in the Premier League, exactly as expected – whereas almost every batter in world cricket is riding the all-or-nothing rollercoaster all the time. Directly before his 136, Bairstow made seven consecutive scores below 30. His Test average this year, when England are put in to bat, is 7.33. When England win the toss and field, it’s 121.33.

The cape Bairstow couldn’t find yesterday was being worn by Ollie Pope, who looked more like a senior player than he ever had before. He was busy but not frantic, positive but not foolhardy, carefree but not careless. He hit only four fours off 87 balls yet still managed a strike rate of 70. He resumes this morning, on 61 not out, as England’s last hope of a respectable total.

The South Africans won’t worry about Pope unless he doubles his tally. Their strike rate has been phenomenal: six wickets in 32 overs. Kagiso Rabada needs fewer balls to dismiss a batter than any bowler in history with 150 Test wickets. Marshall, Cummins, Trueman, Garner: every one a maestro, but none as good, by this yardstick, as the mighty Rabada. Yesterday he surgically removed England’s openers, then took a break and watched Nortje demolish the middle order. This morning they may well open together and have a race to a spot on the honours board.

Play starts at 10.30am BST, weather permitting, to make up some of the time lost yesterday. Do stay with us – it’s unlikely to be dull.





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