Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Port Elizabeth - World cricketer of the year Ben Stokes survived three reviews by South Africa as he and Ollie Pope regained the initiative for England on the first day of the third Test at St George's Park on Thursday.

England were 148 for four when Stokes and Pope came together, in danger of failing to capitalise on batting first on a placid pitch on a hot, sunny day.

Crawley said the pitch was slow, which made run-scoring difficult.

Stokes came into the match two days after being named player of the year by the International Cricket Council and on the back of a man-of-the-match performance when England levelled the four-match series by winning the second Test in Cape Town by 189 runs.

Langeveldt said a surprising decision for new cap Dane Paterson to share the new ball with Vernon Philander, instead of the faster Rabada and Anrich Nortje, was motivated by a desire to make the batsmen play more deliveries in the first few overs.

England brought back fast bowler Mark Wood in place of the injured James Anderson. Wood has not played since the World Cup final in July because of a knee injury but has been working on his fitness since the beginning of the tour.

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