South Africa vs England 1st Test Day 1: De Kock fights, but Curran gives England a slight advantage

Sam Curran four wickets South Africa England 1st Test Day 1 Centurion cricket

Sam Curran ended the day with figures of 4-57 off 19 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock fought valiantly with his knock of 95, but Sam Curran gave England a slight advantage on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion with his four-wicket haul.

Choosing to bowl first, England got off to the best possible start as the returning James Anderson struck on the very first ball of the match as he had South Africa opener Dean Elgar caught behind for a golden duck.

Elgar’s opening partner Aiden Markram mustered 20 runs before he was dismissed by Curran for 20.

Zubayr Hamza made an encouraging 39 before he was caught by Ben Stokes at second slip off the bowling of Stuart Broad.

Debutant Rassie van der Dussen was the next to go as he was caught by England captain Joe Root at first slip off the bowling of Curran for six runs.

Thing went from bad to worse for the Proteas when captain Faf du Plessis was sent packing by Broad for 29.

De Kock and debutant Dwaine Pretorius stabilised the innings with an 87-run partnership, during which De Kock surpassed his fifty, before he was removed by Curran for 33.

De Kock and Vernon Philander added 47 runs to the score before De Kock was caught behind off the bowling of Curran for a 128-ball 95, which included 14 boundaries.

Keshav Maharaj was dismissed by Jofra Archer soon after, while Broad clean bowled Kagiso Rabada for 12.

Following Rabada’s dismissal, stumps was called, which left Philander unbeaten on 28, which came off 76 balls and included five boundaries.

Curran was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Broad took three, and Anderson and Archer claimed one wicket each.

South Africa ended day one on 277/9 and will continue batting on Friday at 10:00 local time or 08:00 GMT.

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