Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes lead England fightback after South Africa quicks chip away

England 224 for 4 (Crawley 44) v South Africa

Test cricket can do funny things to your perception of time, and you can’t have the drama of fifth-day finishes such as the Cape Town Test without some longueurs in between. However, by any measure this was slow going as the series resumed in Port Elizabeth, with England puttering along in attritional conditions to give themselves a platform from which they will hope to dictate terms.

As at Newlands, England’s top-order batsmen failed to capitalise on a series of good starts, with Zak Crawley‘s 44 the top score of a spit-and-sawdust sort of day. Without much in the way of assistance from the pitch, South Africa focused instead on bottling up the scoring, Keshav Maharaj wheeling away to good effect as England lost 4 for 78 between the 31st and 65th overs.

However an unbroken stand of 76 for the fifth wicket between Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope saw the tourists edge back on to the front foot.

More to follow

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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