England vs South Africa 3rd Test Day 1: Cook holds firm after Philander threatens England once again

Cook struck 10 boundaries during his unbeaten knock of 82

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

South Africa pace bowler Vernon Philander proved to be a thorn in England’s side once again, but Alastair Cook kept the hosts afloat as he scored an unbeaten 82 on a rain-affected opening day at The Oval.

Opting to bat first, England got off to a disastrous start as opener Keaton Jennings was dismissed by Philander for a nine-ball duck.

Just as Alastair Cook and debutant Tom Westley had made up for the loss of Jennings with a 50-run partnership, the rain came and the players had to leave the field.

The rain subsided after a short while, but England were unable to carry on from where they left off as Cook and Westley only added two more runs to their partnership before Westley was removed by Chris Morris for 25.

Just as England were beginning to recover from the loss of Westley, Philander provided another breakthrough for South Africa as he had captain Joe Root caught behind for 29.

Philander ended the day with figures of 2-17 off 12 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Debutant Dawid Malan failed to have an impact with the bat as he was clean bowled by Kagiso Rabada for one run.

During the tea break, the heavens parted again, and the match was delayed for an hour before the players finally came back on the field.

However, they didn’t stay out there for a lengthy period of time as just over 30 minutes later, the rain returned.

Even though the rain stopped, the damage had been done as the umpires decided to bring play to an end for the day.

Prior to the delays during and after the tea break, Cook and Ben Stokes managed to amass an unbeaten 51-run partnership.

Cook finished on 82 off 178 balls, which included 10 boundaries, while Stokes remained undefeated on 21 off 44 deliveries, which included a solitary boundary.

Philander, who fought through a stomach bug, was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Morris and Rabada claimed one wicket each.

England ended day one on 171/4 and will continue batting on Friday at 11:00 local time or 10:00 GMT.

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