Jonny Bairstow played well at the plate and with the ball as England took the lead early in the second Test against South Africa in Manchester. South Africa was dismissed for 151 runs thanks to three wickets taken each by Stuart Broad and James Anderson. In response, England was at one point 43/3 until Bairstow led a counterattack as the visitors entered Stumps on Thursday, August 25, at 111/3 and down by 40 runs.
The edge was obtained by Alex Less after Lungi Ngidi struck in the second over of England’s response with a superb ball placed on a length and going away. Ollie Pope got things going well and was eager to play the cut stroke as he hit four boundaries, three of which were in an Anrich Nortje over. Pope, however, managed to get an inside edge onto the stumps off a back of length ball from Nortje, leaving for 23. After being reinserted into the attack, Kagiso Rabada claimed the important wicket of Joe Root by getting him to edge to first slip, where Sarel Erwee juggled the ball before holding onto it.
Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley formed a useful partnership that aided England’s recovery, with the former batting well against Rabada. At the other end, Nortje was careless, giving up extra runs on wide balls that went to the boundary. Additionally inconsistent with his lengths, Ngidi was dismissed by Bairstow for a couple of fours and assisted in raising a quick half-century stand with little assistance from Crawley at the other end. At the conclusion of the day’s play, both batsmen were still unbeaten after adding 68 runs to assist England go closer to South Africa’s total.
Beforehand, England’s pacers took advantage of the cloudy Old Trafford conditions as they made consistent inroads to leave South Africa in shreds after Dean Elgar won the toss and elected to bat. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who were both on point while playing their first Test since the Ashes, plagued the openers with the ball running both ways and having noticeable bounce. As the opener was caught behind while attempting to defend, Anderson eventually made contact with the inside edge of Erwee’s bat. Prior to the debut of Broad, Keegan Petersen and Dean Elgar shared 32 runs for the second wicket. The two then left in quick succession. South Africa was in turmoil after Ben Stokes claimed the wickets of Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen.
In the second session, England continued to score often, with Anderson leg-before dismissing both Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj and Broad finding the outside edge of Kyle Verreynne’s bat to end the innings. At 108 for 8, South Africa was in danger of being dismissed for a pitiful total. But Nortje and Rabada’s tenacious batting ensured that South Africa still had a few wickets in hand going into the final session.
Both Rabada and Nortje hit two boundaries, and there were also a lot of singles and doubles as the former took advantage of the sunny weather to fully utilize the field. Nortje was caught leg-before by Robinson early in the third session. Nortje and Rabada had the innings’ highest partnership (35 off 73). Rabada (36) ended up scoring the most runs in the innings but was also the last to go as he unsuccessfully attempted to drive a Jack Leach delivery down the wicket and instead edged it to slip.
In brief, South Africa leads England 111/3 (Jonny Bairstow 38; Lungi Ngidi 1-20) by 40 runs with a score of 151 (Kagiso Rabada 36; James Anderson 3-32; Stuart Broad 3-37).