|First Investec Test, Trent Bridge, day two|
|South Africa 335 & 75-1: Elgar 38*, Amla 23*|
|England 205: Root 78, Bairstow 45, Maharaj 3-21|
|South Africa lead by 205 runs|
England face defeat in the second Test against South Africa after a reckless batting display on day two.
Even though captain Joe Root sparkled for 78, the home side were bowled out for 205, losing their last seven wickets for 62 runs.
Chris Morris and Keshav Maharaj each took three wickets, while Vernon Philander impressed for 2-48.
South Africa, bowled out for 335 in their first innings, closed on 75-1, a lead of 205 at Trent Bridge.
Barring a remarkable collapse followed by an incredible improvement in England’s batting, the Proteas will level the four-match series at 1-1.
England crumble at the Bridge
Root aside, England’s batting showed none of the patience, application or determination to repel a South Africa attack that had the benefit of helpful conditions – and even Jonny Bairstow’s 45 was tinged with fortune.
Philander, swinging the ball on a full length, was a particular threat, ending a stand of 83 between Root and Gary Ballance (27) by squeezing through the left-hander’s flimsy defence.
After Root fell, left-arm spinner Maharaj and paceman Morris worked through the middle and lower order.
Maharaj had Ben Stokes caught behind, found turn to bowl Bairstow and got Liam Dawson to top-edge a sweep to short fine leg.
Moeen Ali loosely drove Morris to short cover, with Stuart Broad pinned lbw next ball and a fending Mark Wood caught at second slip.
Root a class apart
Root made 190 in the first Test at Lord’s, his first as captain, and, if anything, parts of this knock were even more impressive, given the circumstances.
He arrived at 3-2 after England lost two wickets in two balls – Alastair Cook caught behind via an inside edge off Philander and Keaton Jennings edging a beauty from Morne Morkel – and immediately earned a cheer from the crowd by clipping his first ball for three.
What followed was some dazzling strokeplay, square of the wicket on both sides, made all the more remarkable given the assistance offered to the bowlers in the air and off the pitch.
Root’s 40-ball half-century tied Graham Gooch’s mark as the quickest by an England captain in a Test.
When he played an airy drive to edge Morkel, Root departed in a fury, and the rest of his team followed in meek fashion.
Anderson effort overshadowed
England perhaps failed to exploit the conditions on day one, erring on the short side, but that was corrected by James Anderson’s wonderful swing bowling on the second morning.
Hooping the ball, Anderson took 4-4 in 16 deliveries to complete figures of 5-72 as South Africa crumbled from their overnight 309-6.
He took the applause for a seventh five-wicket haul on this ground, but was back bowling again before the end of the day.
Anderson had Heino Kuhn caught at second slip, the 15th wicket to fall in the day, only for Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla to add 57 and give England a lesson on the approach to Test batting.
‘England were rubbish… absolute tripe!’ – what they said
Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on TMS: “England were rubbish! Absolute tripe. They played a batsmen less and an extra spinner – and look, it’s the seamers doing the damage.
“Get a microphone out and take it round the public and ask them what they think about England’s batting. In four hours they have lost the game. It’s poor.”
Former England spinner Graeme Swann on TMS: “The England bowlers will get some criticism for not looking as threatening as South Africa’s but the attack are tired.
“When you have only had three or four hours with your feet up it’s tough to come out and do it again.
“I feel for England’s bowlers. England look down and out and defeated now, there is not a lot of energy there.
“They need to be positive and believe they can bowl South Africa out for under 200. And they can!”
South Africa’s Chris Morris speaking to Sky Sports: “It has been an excellent day of cricket for us. The guys showed guts and fought hard at the end to get to the close. We are pretty chuffed.
“Vernon and Morne were excellent this morning. The key is to keep asking the right questions. I was struggling with the swing but Faf said ‘just come in and bowl fast’ and it worked for me.”