Zak Crawley helps England end opening day of second SA Test in strong position

England chased South Africa by just 151 points on day one of the second LV= Insurance Test before an unusually stoic Zak Crawley helped them land in a strong position at Emirates Old Trafford.

Although they outplayed England twice cheaply in their innings win at Lord’s, visiting captain Dean Elgar missed the chance to invite them on a gloomy Manchester morning.

The Proteas paid the price for that decision, being knocked down within 54 overs as James Anderson and Stuart Broad each won three wickets on helpful conditions.

England suffered big setbacks of their own but the pressured Crawley, whose place came under increasing scrutiny in the summer, played the guy to help his side go to 111 for three stumps while just 40 down.

Undermining his reputation as a dasher, he eked out 17 nos from 77 balls, happily eclipsed by Jonny Bairstow’s more scintillating 38 nos, to strengthen England’s grip.

Crawley offered little for the highlights, but with a game, a streak and perhaps a career to win, his mere survival was a major factor.

The band splits

Stuart Broad, left, had a good day despite not opening bowling (David Davies/PA)

(PA wire)

The last time Anderson and Broad didn’t share New Ball duties in the first innings of a Test when they played together was in January 2010 – when One Direction was just a wink in Simon Cowell’s eyes. Unlike the world-famous boy band, Anderson and Broad showed no signs of fragmentation, instead being torn apart here when Ollie Robinson shared the cherry-picker with Anderson. Broad, however, gave Stokes food for thought outside the Kia Oval by taking three for 37 in his 11 overs.

Anderson brings up his century

  1. James Anderson – 100
  2. Sachin Tendulkar – 94
  3. Ricky Ponting – 92
  4. Stuart Broad-91
  5. Sir Alastair Cook – 89

No unlikely exploits with the bat, but the sailor came up with yet another record as he’s in his 100th home Test. No one else has accomplished the feat, with India’s Sachin Tendulkar next on the list at No. 94. It’s hard to imagine Anderson wanting to hit the milestone anywhere other than his beloved homeland, with an ending named in his honor. Anderson has favored the Brian Statham end in past times but switched here and was rewarded with a three-wicket move, including two in two balls.

root in rare rest

It was another disappointing outing for Joe Root (David Davies/PA)

(PA wire)

Joe Root edged out Kagiso Rabada against a juggling Sarel Erwee who finally pinned the ball to his chest on the fourth try, at nine the former England captain’s third consecutive dismissal was in single digits on points from eight and six at Lord’s. Only once before in his 123 Tests has Root failed to go into double figures in three straight innings – against the West Indies in March.

The view from the dressing room

Stuart was in the middle, he came over and said: “When I scored my two International Test hat-tricks I just went full and straight.” So I tried to go full and straight, but my line was terribly wrong. I got a little dizzy

James Anderson

After catching Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj with back-to-back balls, Anderson felt a hat trick and received advice from Broad. The evergreen swing king’s delivery to Rabada was wayward, racing down the side of the leg and a chance to turn a good day into a memorable one came with it.

What’s next?

Jonny Bairstow raced to 38, not 45 balls – the highest single score of the day (David Davies/PA)

(PA wire)

England will look to overtake South Africa’s meager total and take the driving seat on day two. If Bairstow and Crawley can fend off a fresh attack from the South African bowlers first, England will assess their chances. Zak Crawley helps England end opening day of second SA Test in strong position

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