South Africa strengthened its grip on the first cricket test by dismissing England for 165 before moving onto 289-7 after a late flurry of boundaries at Lord’s on Thursday.
The Proteas ended Day 2 with a lead of 124 and in a good position to hand England a first test loss under the new regime of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
Opener Sarel Erwee was South Africa’s top scorer with 73 but it was a 72-run partnership in the final hour between Keshav Maharaj (41) and Marco Jansen (41 not out) that really hurt England, which had done well to reduce the visitors to 210-6 after they were 138-1.
Jansen will start Day 3 in the middle with Kagiso Rabada (3), the fast bowler who took 5-52 to help dismiss England for 165 before lunch Thursday.
Resuming on 116-6 after a rain-affected opening day of the series, England added 49 runs to beat the previous lowest total made under Stokes and McCullum — 141 against New Zealand in June, also at Lord’s.
Ollie Pope returned on 61 and should have been dismissed from the sixth ball of the morning, when he edged to first slip. Erwee made a mess of the opportunity at chest height, spilling the first chance, almost clinging on at the second attempt and failing to gather at the third in hilarious fashion while falling backward.
Pope was out for 73, though, as he played on at the start of Rabada’s third over.
Stuart Broad (15) hit two fours off Anrich Nortje but Rabada proved too good for his rival fast bowler, showing his variation with a slower ball to fool Broad, who chipped a simple catch to Dean Elgar at point.
Jack Leach followed team orders in trying to be aggressive but soon lost his off stump off Jansen for 15.
James Anderson (0) lasted only one ball and was last man out, pinned lbw by Rabada, who ensured his name will go up on the Lord’s honors board for his five-wicket haul.