Ben Stokes digs deep but South Africa's late blitz builds ominous lead

·50 min read
England v south africa live score latest first test day 2 - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
England v south africa live score latest first test day 2 - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

England’s swashbucklers face their greatest challenge so far. South Africa are in charge at Lord’s despite the back-breaking efforts of Ben Stokes to drag his team back in the contest.

South Africa hold a 124-run lead with three wickets left, and England will no doubt back themselves to knock off the deficit when they bat again on Friday with their usual blood-and-thunder aggression.

But South Africa have shown already they have an attack more rounded, and possessing more threat and pace, than any England have faced so far under Stokes and Brendon McCullum, so landing haymakers will be fraught with risk, especially against a Kagiso Rabada spurred on by five wickets in the first innings.

Stokes, with three for 53 across three spells, was forced into bowling more than he would have wanted due to the lack of cutting edge from the rest and while he did pull South Africa back after a commanding start, a sparky seventh-wicket stand of 72 from 75 balls between Keshav Maharaj and Marco Jansen took the day away from England.

England have always managed to find a way back this summer and are impossible to write off because the players feed off Stokes’s belief he can win from any position. Those who beat the Tube strike to be at Lord’s on Friday are set for a thriller but this time they start their second innings not chasing a target, but trying to set one up from the position of a sizeable first-innings shortfall. It is new territory but something they will try to seize.

Marco Jansen unleashed some lusty blows late on - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Marco Jansen unleashed some lusty blows late on - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Stokes may well possess the most famous knee in cricket since Denis Compton, his left leg constantly a worry as it buckles and bends under the strain of him bowling in full flow. He barely bothers at nets, preserving what few overs he has left in his body for when it matters, such as when South Africa were on top in the opening Test and his own attack was flagging and looking one dimensional again.

At 181 for three, 16 ahead, and stubborn opener Sarel Erwee a frustrating obstacle, Stokes rolled up his sleeves, took a deep breath and ran in from the Pavilion End to bang the ball in. He was flexing the knee after one over because bowling bouncer after bouncer is a painful business.

Stokes positioned six fielders on the leg side including a short leg, and after an over to find his range, he followed Erwee with a nasty throat ball that he could only glove up in the air, the catch looping to Ben Foakes. Job done, Erwee gone for 73 and dismissed by the kind of ball he would not have faced in club cricket when he warmed up for the series playing in the Surrey Premier Division for Weybridge.

Stokes reverted to orthodox swing and seam to trap Rassie van der Dussen leg before six balls later and with his tail up had a couple of close calls against Kyle Verreynne until the knee started grumbling and he could no longer follow through properly. By then a spell of 5-2-13-2 had evened the contest.

He came back for one last effort, bouncing out Maharaj as England looked short of ideas after others had struggled to match Stokes’s intent. Matty Potts had a tough day, bowling his poorest spell for England. He is far less effective against left-handers, and South Africa have two opening the batting. His first spell went at six an over.

Matty Potts struggled to impose himself on the South African batting line-up - AP
Matty Potts struggled to impose himself on the South African batting line-up - AP

Jack Leach was the bowler who induced the most glaring false strokes, combining well with Stokes and his performance encouraging after so little bowling since the India Test. His removal of Aiden Markram with his first ball after tea opened up the door for Stokes to barge through.

James Anderson bowled some beauties to Dean Elgar, and Stuart Broad probed a wicket-taking length but England were too inconsistent with the new ball. South Africa’s approach with the bat contrasts completely to England’s. They wait patiently for bowler error rather than try to impose from ball one. Their opening stand of 85 went a long way to overhauling England’s below par 165.

England’s breakthrough was lucky. Elgar had been beaten a few times by some beauties from Anderson but was moving close to a deserved fifty when he played on, via his elbow. Erwee continued to accumulate patiently, picking off some nice drives and leaving well.

South African opener Sarel Erwee accumulated a well-judged 73 - GETTY IMAGES
South African opener Sarel Erwee accumulated a well-judged 73 - GETTY IMAGES

It was not flashy stuff but effective. Potts was grateful to see one of the left-handers go and  a full pitched delivery had Keegan Petersen edging to slip with a poor drive but Markram looked at ease until Leach came on and found some turn.

With Markram gone, Stokes sensed his chance and went after Erwee, who had looked too comfortable until he was shown the short ball.

Broad removed Verryenne for his 100th wicket at Lord’s, but Jansen, batting at six for the first time in his first-class career, showed why he fancies himself as an all-rounder with four fours and a six in an unbeaten 41.

It wasn’t the brightest of tail-end batting performances from England in the morning. The ball was still zipping around and South African bowlers had their tails up but the hosts threw the bat with inevitable consequences, their last four wickets adding only 33 as Rabada’s hostility and cleverness with the slower ball was too much - an ominous sign perhaps.

Inspirational skipper shows brain and brawn to drag England back into match

by Scyld Berry

While Sir Andrew Strauss has been outlining the shape of the high-performance review which will reform English cricket, he has emphasised the importance of leadership in the future structure. Meanwhile, on the field of play, Ben Stokes has been suiting the word to the action.

It would have been temptingly easy to switch off when South Africa had ground out 80 runs without any loss on a warm afternoon, then 130 for one wicket. Everyone else in the ground was having a good time, feasting, drinking, enjoying reunions. Why not concede this opening game and go hard at Old Trafford next week with a view to a 2-1 series victory?

But Stokes is a born leader. The game had drifted while England’s three specialist seamers had bowled the first 40 overs - they had bowled well too, except for Matty Potts against left-handers - but they are similar in pace, height and release points. Stokes brought on Jack Leach and himself, and proceeded to drag England back into the match by their velcro straps.

Stokes had twisted his left knee in his first spell, from the Nursery End, when charging after a ball in order to save a second run (which he did). What is pain to Achilles though except another source of inspiration?

Sarel Erwee had been hanging around, radiating some of the tenacity of his opening partner and South Africa’s captain Dean Elgar. Stokes spread the field three-six and unleashed a barrage of the type of ball that would inflict the most pain on his own left knee, the bouncer.

Erwee ducked the first five balls that Stokes fired at him from the Pavilion End, no speculative hooking; South African players have always been wedded to self-discipline.

In their inaugural Test, when they met England in Port Elizabeth in the winter of 1889/90, was one cricketer of Afrikaner background, and often before the end of apartheid there was none at all; but their values - hard work, collective discipline - have never been far away.

But Stokes was only finding his range, like a gunner. His sixth ball, slightly shorter and arrow-straight, forced Erwee to play or, rather, fend. The sight was sufficient to excite the hunter in Stokes, that instinct which all the best fast bowlers possess. Stokes in his next over dished out a snorter, the ideal bouncer, kicking steeply, which Erwee could only fend into the air with his gloves.

Both ends open, two new batsmen, England back in the game, especially as Leach had already seduced Aiden Markram, strongest of batsmen, into the softest of dismissals.

And this new Test captain that England have: he has brain to go with his brawn, blood to pair with his thunder. He had bounced out Erwee, just as he had bounced out some of New Zealand’s and India’s tail-enders, but this adrenaline surge did not impel him to bounce Rassie van der Dussen as well.

England had got Richard Illingworth and Nitin Menon, the best umpire India have produced since their former offspinner Srini Venkataraghavan, to change the ball after 56 overs.

First up, Stokes pitched the replacement ball on a full length, to see if it would move, and it did, shaping down the slope and through Van der Dussen’s defence. South Africa 192 for five, and Kyle Verreynne was not likely to hang around too long, not after injuring his hand while wicketkeeping and not after Stokes’s first ball had tickled his ribs.

Before the close of day two, before England could take a second new ball, Keshav Maharaj and Marco Jansen gave South Africa a useful lead but not awesome lead of 124.

Their batsmen would have had to attack sooner in the day for the tourists to have been out of sight by the second ball, and that is not their way - not that there is a single way in Test cricket, because conditions are always varying and dictating.

Stokes returned for a third spell. It is not nice to see a dead horse being flogged, and even more disturbing to see a horse flogging itself. Yet Stokes did, busting a gut, himself chasing back to long-off when he posted no fielder in front of square on the offside, and dismissing Maharaj with another bouncer.

His England team could score anywhere between 150 and 500 in their second innings. Whichever, Stokes’s men will only add to the glorious uncertainty of Test cricket.

England vs South Africa, day two – as it happened

07:11 PM

CLOSE: SA 289/7 lead by 124

England had their moments of genuine grit to drag themselves back into the match, led by their captain at the head of the vanguard to take three for 53, but the South Africa tail has wagged enough to put them 124 ahead which is starting to look like a formidable lead. They may have been tired by the end of a marathon day but the way they allowed Maharaj and Jansen to seize the initiative with a 72-run stand off 75 balls may cost them dearly.

Nick Hoult, alongside me, will be filing his day two report imminently and there will be further pieces by Scyld Berry and Tim Wigmore to enjoy very soon.

07:06 PM

OVER 77: SA 289/7 (Jansen 41 Rabada 3)                             

After a barrage of short ones that Jansen either evades or gets his nose over to block, he frees his arms to flog a pull in front of square. Bairstow is back on the rope and slides to try to reach it before it bounces six inches in from the fence but can't get there. And if he can't pretty much no one could have done so. The ball goes for four and South Africa end the day 124 ahead.

07:02 PM

OVER 76: SA 285/7 (Jansen 37 Rabada 3)                           

Leach takes the final over and tests Rabada throughout. But Rabada adds to his score with a jammy edge that just defies slip and scuttles down for two. What's this? Twenty seconds on the clock. England race round to squeeze in one final over and Nitin Menon gets to his end before the clock strikes 7pm. Stokes will bowl it.

06:59 PM

OVER 75: SA 283/7 (Jansen 37 Rabada 1)                           

Jansen pumps three through cover, Maharaj climbs into a short ball and cloths it over mid-on for two before Stokes cramps and dismisses him. One more over to go.

06:53 PM

Wicket!!

Maharaj c Potts b Stokes 41  Well, it was costly but eventually it worked when Stokes got the line right. Maharaj backed away and tried to pull over midwicket having swayed away from the previous two bouncers. He couldn't free his arms, though, and popped it up to midwicket where Potts snaffled it despite the sun in his eyes, which he pointed out on completing the catch.  FOW 282/7

06:53 PM

OVER 74: SA 277/6 (Jansen 34 Maharaj 39)                         

England have become muddled in their approach, leaking 46 off 28 after Maharaj times the pants off a back-foot punch through point for four. Leach was doing a good job until Stokes decided he would switch to short stuff. Maharaj ends the over with another cracking back-foot punch, smearing another four.

England wrestled their way back into this with grit but seem to have lost the plot with an excessively testosterone-fuelled rather than cerebral approach for the past 20 minutes.

06:48 PM

OVER 73: SA 269/6 (Jansen 34 Maharaj 31)                         

Stokes has seen enough and once again throws himself on to the line. Jansen drives handsomely for four, punches two off the back foot, hooks the second bouncer of the over for six over fine leg then carts the last ball wide of mid on for four. England's captain is tired and so is his team. South Africa have picked the ideal time to turn the screw.

The lead extends into three figures and the partnership above 50.

06:43 PM

OVER 72: SA 253/6 (Jansen 18 Maharaj 31)                             

A first spell of the match for Anderson from the Nursery End. Maharaj plays a couple of extraordinary, contemptuous strokes off the venerable bowler, spanking four off the front foot over cover followed next ball by a withering short-arm pull for four high over midwicket.

06:39 PM

OVER 71: SA 243/6 (Jansen 18 Maharaj 21)                             

This is developing into a very valuable partnership. Maharaj uses his feet to wallop Leach through mid-on for three and then Jansen strides down, as if the idea had just been brought to mind by Maharaj's example, and lofts a drive over mid on for four more.

The partnership is 33, the lead 78.

06:35 PM

OVER 70: SA 236/6 (Jansen 14 Maharaj 18)                           

Maharaj transfers his weight quickly on to his back foot to swat Potts' short ball down to third man for four then whisks a single through midwicket. Potts goes short again to Jansen who dismisses it as is ruffling a child's hair paternally, smacking it through point for four.

06:31 PM

OVER 69: SA 227/6 (Jansen 10 Maharaj 13)                           

Maharaj is keen to hit Leach over the top but doesn't have the power, spooning the ball wide of mid-on for a single. Jansen, who has a top first-class score of 67, looks to have a decent technique despite the disadvantage of his extreme height for a batsman. But Leach does make him grope forward and inside edge a tentative defensive into his pad.

06:27 PM

OVER 68: SA 226/6 (Jansen 10 Maharaj 12)                           

Jansen plays out a Potts' maiden and maintains Souh Africa's lead at 61. Jack Leach will replace Broad at the Pavilion End for the first time.

06:24 PM

OVER 67: SA 226/6 (Jansen 10 Maharaj 12)                           

England have three slips in place as Broad signals a change from targeting the teeth to focusing on the edge. He duly finds Maharaj's who anxiously looks behind him as the ball flies past Bairstow, the last of the cordon, for four.  South Africa's left-arm spinner cleaves four through point when Broad serves up a juicy long hop and then plays tip and run to cover.

06:20 PM

OVER 66: SA 216/6 (Jansen 9 Maharaj 3)                           

England continue with the short stuff but Potts is causing far fewer problems, because he is shorter and skiddier than Broad and Stokes. Maharaj rides the bounce to roll his wrists on a pull for a single.

06:15 PM

OVER 65: SA 215/6 (Jansen 9 Maharaj 2)                           

Jansen plays the same infuriating stroke, running the ball uppishly through first slip for a single. Root was at third slip, the other two slots vacant. England bolt the stable door for Maharaj who rides the bounce to get off the mark with a tap through cover for a single.

Broad -  Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Broad - Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

06:08 PM

OVER 64: SA 211/6 (Jansen 7 Maharaj 0)                         

Stokes turns back to Potts. Glorious sunshine here at Lord's this evening for a fascinating final 55 minutes of play. They set the field for leg theory but Jansen stays inside the line to fence a single down to third man. There was only a third slip, no first or second. Maharaj either gets out of the way or jabs away the next five, largely the former tactic.

06:04 PM

OVER 63: SA 210/6 (Jansen 6 Maharaj 0)                         

Wicket maiden for Broad and 100 Test wickets at Lord's is a crowning achievement for his career. When Maharaj comes in, England straightaway change tack, banging it in to the No8 who gets out of the way of all of them.

South Africa lead by 45 runs.

05:59 PM

Wicket!!!

Verreynne c Foakes b Broad 11  Broad opts for classic Broad-length rather than Baz-length, nips one back into the wicket-keeper batsman who seems to have bargained for more movement back down the slope. The ball spits up, kisses the edge and consummates Broad's 100th Test wicket at Lord's. FOW 210/6

05:59 PM

OVER 62: SA 210/5 (Jansen 6 Verreynne 11)                       

England have a short mid-off and a short extra for Verreynne, inviting him to hit Leach over the top but at first he resists the bait. After four deliveries of restraint, Verreynne leans back to swipe one past Stokes at mid-off but only just past him. They run three. A victory of a kind for England's stratefy.

05:55 PM

OVER 61: SA 205/5 (Jansen 5 Verreynne 8)                       

Stokes continues to attack with four slips and a gully for Broad, standing at gully himself which, I think, he hasn't done since his finger injury sustained in the 2021 IPL. Verreynne turns two singles into the onside, Jansen works a couple into the offside.

Benjamin Stokes - ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images
Benjamin Stokes - ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

05:47 PM

OVER 60: SA 201/5 (Jansen 3 Verreynne 6)                     

Verreynne likes to crouch deep in his crease against Leach, meaning he doesn't get a decent stride in when driving, and causing him to earn a single off the inside edge rather than the money maker.

Drinks.

05:45 PM

OVER 59: SA 201/5 (Jansen 3 Verreynne 5)                     

Broad resumes with a maiden, save for the no ball. Jansen looks very much a front foot player, typical of Transvaal.

05:41 PM

OVER 58: SA 200/5 (Jansen 3 Verreynne 5)                   

Leach serves up a rare pie, Verreynne tucks into the length and crashes a cut for four. Discretion proves the better part of valour and Stokes hands the ball to Stuart Broad to replace him at the Pavilion End.

05:35 PM

OVER 57: SA 195/4 (Jansen 2 Verreynne 1)                   

After much longer than usual this summer, the ball is changed and immediately England reap the dividend with a clever variation of tactics. Stokes knows Verreynne has a sore hand and greets him with a heavy ball that he he has to fend off his chest. England's hobbling captain seems to do himself a mischief when his leg gives way in his followthrough and he ends up sprawling on the deck, but he gets up with a smile. Were he not captain that would be his final over but he may give himself one more.

05:29 PM

Wicket!!

Van der Dussen lbw b Stokes 19  Credit to Stokes who bags a wicket after the ball was changed by changing his approach from enforcement to a more orthodox method of right-arm over and scrambling the seam, angling it into VDD's knee. Rassie burns a review ... it was plumb.  FOW 192/5

05:26 PM

South Africa review

Van der Dussen lbw b Stokes

05:25 PM

OVER 56: SA 192/4 (Van der Dussen 19 Jansen 1)                 

Maiden for Leach to Jansen. With Verreynne carrying an injury, even if only a bruise, England are not so far away from a decent position here with SA's tail as long as theirs. Leach carries genuine fourth innings threat.

05:23 PM

OVER 55: SA 192/4 (Van der Dussen 19 Jansen 1)                 

Terrific effort from Stokes to bend his back so much despite his gammy knee and spear it towards Erwee's gullet. It followed him and he left it too late to duck, throwing up his hands to stop it cannoning into his windpipe.

Jansen comes in ahead of Verreynne who, we are told, hurt his hand keeping against the fabled Lord's late swing. Jansen gets off the mark by poking a single through point off the back foot. Van der Dussen tries a different tack, climbing into a short one and pulling it so hard for four that deep backward square leg didn't even flinch.

05:14 PM

Wicket!!!           

Erwee c Foakes b Stokes 73  Savage from Stokes who finds a vicious line, jack-knifing a short ball into Erwee's throat and the left-hander, who had taken an off-stump guard to counter this approach, couldn't get out of the way, fending it off his adam's apple with his glove. The ball looped up and Foakes skipped back to take it, avoiding the grounded helmet to stay upright.  FOW 187/4

05:12 PM

OVER 54: SA 185/3 (Erwee 71 Van der Dussen 15)               

Two slips in for Van der Dee who is trying to be busy, finally nailing a sweep after hopscotching back and forward in hectic defence. The sweep gleans four.

05:10 PM

OVER 53: SA 181/3 (Erwee 71 Van der Dussen 11)               

Time for a Stokes chin symphony. Out come the slips and he places one out for the hook, a fine third for the uppercut, a man out at 45, a square leg four pitches across plus a square leg on the boundary and a midwicket halfway back. After a couple of deliveries Pope is brought in to short leg but Markram isn't tempted to go after any of the ones that fizz under his nose. The last ball is tighter, arrowing into Erwee's midriff and he shovels it round the corner away from Pope's reach.

05:05 PM

OVER 52: SA 181/3 (Erwee 71 Van der Dussen 11)             

Erwee rocks back to collar a shorter one from Leach and cuff it through midwicket for two but twice plays over a cut stroke, almost dragging one of them on, before patting one round the corner for a single.

05:03 PM

OVER 51: SA 178/3 (Erwee 68 Van der Dussen 11)             

Van der Dussen plays out a maiden from Stokes who is running in gamely but seems to be having a problem with his left leg in his delivery stride, the landing jarring, forcing him wider.

05:01 PM

From CricViz

Plenty of turn on offer for Jack Leach early on in his spell - since 2006 only three tests at Lord's have seen a higher average turn on Day 2 than the 3.98° today.

05:00 PM

OVER 50: SA 178/3 (Erwee 68 Van der Dussen 11)           

Leach continues his inquisition of Erwee and Van der Dussen, with all the fun of the circus. Lots of dramatic whoops and anguished cries to create an atmosphere of threat which isn't artificial. He seems the most dangerous bowler and Erwee's sweep doesn't seem like a productive counter. In fact the left-hander gloves his latest attempt but, despite England's yelps, it fell well wide of short leg. Maiden.

04:55 PM

OVER 49: SA 178/3 (Erwee 68 Van der Dussen 11)           

Stokes replaces Anderson down the hill, having bowled his first spell from the Nursery End, and almost strikes with his first ball when Van der Dussen pokes at a wide one and misses dragging it on to off stump by ... yay ... much. Instead it rattles down to fine leg for four.

04:52 PM

OVER 48: SA 174/3 (Erwee 68 Van der Dussen 7)         

Erwee appears to try on a new personality as a dasher, like Mr Benn trying on a new costume before an adventure, and reverse-sweeps Leach, top edging it over slip for three. Van der Dussen gorges on any error in length and hops back to work a shorter one with a flick through midwicket for three.

Leach wicket - Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters
Leach wicket - Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters

04:47 PM

OVER 47: SA 168/3 (Erwee 65 Van der Dussen 4)         

Erwee works the angle when Anderson slants one across him, helping it round the corner for three to give Anderson an opportunity against the right-hander and he finds the edge. But VDD's soft hands guide it down before it reaches Pope at gully.

04:44 PM

OVER 46: SA 165/3 (Erwee 62 Van der Dussen 4)       

His first two overs offered rich promise and Leach reaps his just deserts with his third, luring Markram into a fishing expedition. Van der Dussen is greeted by a no ball then presented with a long hop that he slaps through cover for four. No second invitation necessary.

04:37 PM

Wicket!!

Markram c Foakes b Leach 16  Possibly done by a slower one, with more flight, that drew Markram into a hesitant push after withdrawing his pad to prevent leg-before, perhaps misreading it as the arm ball. Foakes takes a straightforward catch and Leach sets off awhooping like a Taunton Tahir to celebrate his success.  FOW 160/3

04:36 PM

OVER 45: SA 160/2 (Erwee 62 Markram 16)       

Anderson carries on after the break, round the wicket for his 15th over. He starts too short to Erwee who slaps two off the back foot through point. Thus chastised, Anderson changes his length and tightens his line.

04:15 PM

TEA: SA 158/2 - England lead by seven runs

South Africa's session again but at least England managed to capture a couple of wickets, with good fortune in Elgar's case and persistence in Potts' dismissal of Petersen. But Erwee, a throwback, keeps patiently trucking along at his own sweet pace and Markram has the power and armoury of strokes to help turn South Africa's dominance into a very intimidating lead.

England simply lack pace for all their fast-medium skill but the amount of turn Leach is managing to extricate from a pitch that is only 89 overs old, basically an end of day one pitch, gives them some hope.

04:10 PM

OVER 44: SA 158/2 (Erwee 60 Markram 16)     

More turn for Leach, this time from round the wicket to the right-hander. Markram uses his brute strength and lovely timing to flay four behind square off the back foot but is then beaten pushing down an off-stump line when Leach gets another to dip, grip and rip past the edge.

04:07 PM

OVER 43: SA 154/2 (Erwee 60 Markram 12)     

'Shot of the day,' as Richie Benaud used to say. Markram times the pants off a cover drive and hits it with uncommon force for such a stylish stroke, rifling it to the boundary. Anderson counters with a lovely away swing that gulls Markram into a stroke, having been foxed by the length into almost coming round so chest on that he could have been playing French cricket.

04:02 PM

OVER 42: SA 149/2 (Erwee 60 Markram 7)     

Leach has a slip, a short leg and a leg gully. As Michael Atherton points out, he has maintained the shorter run he devised at Headingley. Genuine turn, nice tight line outside off. After one rags on to Erwee's pads, Stokes moves leg gully to leg slip. Leach starts with a maiden.

03:59 PM

OVER 41: SA 149/2 (Erwee 60 Markram 7)   

Only a single off Anderson, Erwee pushing it into the offside. Time for some pre-tea spin. Jack Leach has been windmilling his arms for a couple of overs and now is his moment.

03:57 PM

OVER 40: SA 148/2 (Erwee 59 Markram 7)   

Markram, who made his name as an opener, shows his sound technique by smearing Potts for four through extra-cover.

Potts celebrates - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
Potts celebrates - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

03:49 PM

OVER 39: SA 143/2 (Erwee 58 Markram 3) 

Anderson replaces Broad in hazy sunshine at Lord's where I'd say about two-thirds of the crowd is wearing red in some form or another in support of #RedforRuth.

Erwee runs the ball off an open face down to third man for a single and Markram als0 opens the face to steer a single, this one squarer through point.

03:46 PM

OVER 38: SA 140/2 (Erwee 56 Markram 2) 

Potts has earned that wicket with a far more probing line to right-handers and will relish a dart at Markram too who, nonetheless, gets off the mark with a push through gully, loosening his grip to keep the ball on the ground. Potts reverts back to his original line in inquiry down t'corridor.

03:39 PM

Wicket!!

Petersen c Bairstow b Potts 24  His bat came down at an angle from second slip and he could not straighten it in time, nicking it to third slip as he played down the wrong line. FOW 138/2

03:39 PM

OVER 37: SA 138/1 (Erwee 56 Petersen 24)

Erwee plays his legside release shot against Broad, skelping two through midwicket, but is otherwise quiet and patiently content to be so.

03:37 PM

OVER 36: SA 136/1 (Erwee 54 Petersen 24)

Petersen block-drives two through long on but there is no doubt that Potts looks significantly more threatening and confident against him than Erwee, ending the over by beating the edge and and getting one to climb past the splice. He is bowling the same speeds to left- and right-hander but illogically looks more slippery against the right-hander, which must be an illusion shaped by prejudice since he seems to be bowling a better line.

03:33 PM

OVER 35: SA 134/1 (Erwee 54 Petersen 22)                  

Erwee nearly kebabs Petersen with a call for a single that he overrules himself within seconds when he sees Broad haring up the pitch, Petersen hears the call late, performs the emergency stop ('when I strike the dashboard with my pen Mr Bagchi I want you to bring the vehicle to a halt as quickly and safely as possible') and slips. Broad shies at the non-striker's, misses and the man backing up also slips. The ball shoots down to long on for three buzzers.

Broad tries his old length to finish the over and the ball vaults past Erwee's gloves. England suggest there might have been a touch but there wasn't and their appeal quickly subsides.

03:27 PM

OVER 34: SA 129/1 (Erwee 51 Petersen 20)                   

It has been a costly day for Potts so far, too many half volleys and he serves one up to Petersen who raises his left elbow high to smear it through the covers for four. Ugly ball, handsome shot. Potts has impressed the best of the best in his four Tests to date but he has been poor today so far.

Just a reminder that this middle session has been extended for half an hour until 4.10 and the evening session from 4.30pm to 7pm to compensate for yesterday's rain.

03:23 PM

OVER 33: SA 124/1 (Erwee 51 Petersen 15)                   

Erwee falls into the nuggety left-hander category, players with a limited collection of attacking strokes who nonetheless play them effectively. In his case the most productive among the nurdles and flicks is the square drive and, fittingly, it takes him to fifty, steered through cover point for four, which is his first half-century in Tests technically as his previous one was but a mere staging post to a maiden century.

03:18 PM

OVER 32: SA 120/1 (Erwee 47 Petersen 15)                 

If South Africa carry on in this vein for much longer, England, the people who brought you Lord's, Trent Bridge, Headingley and Edgbaston, will have to produce 'Lord's II' the sequel, the greatest act of 2022 escapology yet.

After Erwee works a single off his body through the onside, Potts gets to have a dart at Petersen and finds some swing and seam movement, having him grope around for the first three balls before stifling the leg-before appeal in the fielders' throats via an inside edge that also earns him two runs.

03:13 PM

OVER 31: SA 117/1 (Erwee 46 Petersen 13)                 

Double change as Broad, still searching for that 100th wicket at Lord's, comes down the hill. Petersen uses the edge inadvertently to earn him four flashed through point before testing the fielder's legs again with a smartly run single. Erwee drives two through cover and pinches the strike against Potts, much to England's chagrin, with a tuck off his hip for one.

03:08 PM

OVER 30: SA 108/1 (Erwee 43 Petersen 7)               

After the break and conflab, it is Potts who comes back on, eager to test the right-hander, but typically bowls all six at his weaker suit, the left-handed Erwee who goes merrily along at his own pace, check driving for two, blocking a few and then flicking a single off middle and leg from the final ball.

03:05 PM

OVER 29: SA 105/1 (Erwee 40 Petersen 7)               

Anderson racks up a maiden in the over before drinks, discombobulating Petersen who has a big wipe after being tied up for so long but does not connect, mercifully for him and connoisseurs of beauty.

02:58 PM

OVER 28: SA 105/1 (Erwee 40 Petersen 7)             

Having already bowled Elgar off his pads, England almost succeed again with this unorthodox ploy when Stokes, who seems OK, arrows one into Erwee's legs and it rebounds just past the stumps. Tight, probing over that yields only a single. Potts might fancy his chances against the right-handed Petersen from the Nursery End if he feels adequately rested.

02:54 PM

OVER 27: SA 104/1 (Erwee 39 Petersen 7)             

Erwee pulls Anderson for two but that's the extent of the damage to an over containing five dot balls, one of which spits up higher than the left-hander expected and pinged back into his thighpad.

Dean Elgar plays on - Adam Davy/PA
Dean Elgar plays on - Adam Davy/PA

02:48 PM

OVER 26: SA 102/1 (Erwee 37 Petersen 7)           

Anderson ended the previous over, hands on knees, shaking his head, having struck Erwee on the back leg but frustrated by the knowledge that it pitched a mile outside leg stump.

Stokes looks far more effective against the right-handed Petersen, moving the ball down the slope away from him as he plays and misses. It will go in Wisden as a maiden but the last ball, the variation hooping in after five going away, drifts down for four leg-byes off Petersen's ankle as he essayed a flick but made no contact with his willow. It brings up South Africa's hundred.

02:43 PM

OVER 25: SA 98/1 (Erwee 37 Petersen 7)           

Anderson endures a bit of tap, the type that would have had Flower-era Jimmy frothing. Petersen reaches over to guide two through point then drives for a 'Wait! Yes!' single, or rather one in Afrikaans. Erwee also drives for runs, this one a comfortable two.

02:39 PM

OVER 24: SA 93/1 (Erwee 34 Petersen 4)         

Did Keegan Petersen have a telepathic understanding with Ernie Toshack for the 10 years they were on the planet together before the latter's death in 2003? Hmmm.

Stokes perseveres, which may well be his epitaph. "Barkiss is willing; Stokes perseveres etc". He starts to tease Erwee outside off but the opener will not be drawn until given enough width to steer a drive wide of the slips for four.

02:35 PM

OVER 23: SA 89/1 (Erwee 30 Petersen 4)         

A moment of disquiet when Stokes grimaces after hyper-extending his knee. He was chasing a ball down through the covers and hopped Rumpelstiltskin-style in pain after landing following his turn/jump to throw it back in. A moment of peril is followed two balls later by England's first wicket which brings in Keegan Petersen who gets off the mark with a princely leg glance for four.

02:29 PM

Wicket!!

Elgar b Anderson 47 A touch of fortune or, more accurately several touches of fortune as the ball ricocheted off Elgar's pads on to his left arm, on to his right elbow and then carromed back on to leg stump.  FOW 85/1

02:28 PM

OVER 22: SA 84/0 (Elgar 47 Erwee 30)       

Not a very auspicious start from Stokes from round the wicket, as he's taken for a pair of fours but never fear ... Jimmy's here.

Anderson -  Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Anderson - Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

02:23 PM

OVER 21: SA 75/0 (Elgar 39 Erwee 30)       

Anderson replaces Broad and starts with a ripper, slanting in and nibbling away from Elgar, beating him comprehensively. But the South Africa captain, like the greatest of openers, is a stoical chap, as well as a batting spartan, and just gets on with it. After Elgar pokes two through cover, Anderson gives him an earful. If there's no encouragement from the pitch, Anderson motivates himself, as per, by picking a fight.

02:19 PM

OVER 20: SA 73/0 (Elgar 37 Erwee 30)     

And the sage was right as usual. Potts has one more over which is taken for nine - four off Elgar's bat through midwicket, four off his pads that will go in the book as leg-byes and a single through square leg. But at its end Potts is told to take a breather and Stokes will bowl the next over from the Nursery End if his vigorous warm-up is any clue.

02:17 PM

OVER 19: SA 64/0 (Elgar 32 Erwee 30)     

Broad finds some life in the pitch by getting one to jag away from Elgar who definitely chased it but the ball did too much. He chisels out the next ball to gully, goes for a walk, realises he's left the front gate unlocked and races back home before Pope's stump-demolishing throw beats him to it.

Another squirty square drive earns Elgar three and the strike.

When will Stokes bowl. That's the question, says Scyld Berry.

02:13 PM

OVER 18: SA 61/0 (Elgar 29 Erwee 30)     

Potts tries to surprise Elgar with a short one but he's in like Flynn to carve it in front of point for four. That didn't come off the middle either but it still raced away to the boundary. Next ball is closer to him, Elgar cannot free his arms but chops it through point again, this time for three. Potts tries to go fuller, too full, and Erwee smears it through midwicket with a lovely drive. Oh dear, England.

02:09 PM

OVER 17: SA 50/0 (Elgar 22 Erwee 26)   

The disparity between the pace of England's quickest bowler and the slowest of South Africa's (four quicks) has never been more marked. Erwee drives through point with rather more edge than middle for two and Broad ends the over with five successive dot balls but there doesn't seem to be anything left in the pitch for 83mph merchants.

02:04 PM

OVER 16: SA 48/0 (Elgar 22 Erwee 24)   

England are trying to swing it as much as South Africa - something James Anderson managed to do in his opening spell, but have tended to overpitch at least once an over. Erwee cashes in when Potts just does that, off driving for four. I'm starting to get flashbacks to 2003 when England made 173 and then dropped the opposition captain very early in his innings.

01:58 PM

OVER 15: SA 43/0 (Elgar 22 Erwee 19) 

Broad strays on to Elgar's pads again and he flicks him for four. That was the first ball of the over, bookended by a boundary off the last, this one of an altogether different kidney, edged off a flashy drive between fourth slip and gully. Broad's frustration is mounting, as is the pressure of the steam emanating from his ears.

01:55 PM

OVER 14: SA 35/0 (Elgar 14 Erwee 19) 

Potts continues to look the most likely wicket-taker even if, hitherto this summer, he has fared much better against right-handers. He beats Erwee with one angled across him and one he gets to jag back in but then overpitches and Erwee square drives elegantly for four.

01:48 PM

OVER 13: SA 29/0 (Elgar 14 Erwee 13) 

Broad comes round the wicket to Elgar, gets his line wrong and slants his first ball across the South Africa captain's backside as he shuffles out of the road. The next four are in the channel and Elgar defends with the use of his bat, or good judgment of angle to leave, then concludes with firm push through extra for two.

Potts, who induced the only chance, continues from the Nursery End.

01:43 PM

The players are back out

Stuart Broad replaces Anderson at the Pavilion End.

01:08 PM

Lunch: SA 27/0: England lead by 138 runs

South Africa's morning by a considerable margin, having removed the sole remaining dangerman, Ollie Pope, for 73, they made short work of the tail. Rabada, possibly bowling within himself, certainly not committing to a full followthrough, taking a deserved five for 52.

England have been tidy with the ball without posing too much threat to both stolid and solid left-hand openers.

01:05 PM

OVER 12: SA 27/0 (Elgar 12 Erwee 13)

Potts with the final over before lunch - the second two sessions have been elongated following yesterday's rain but luncheon at Lord's is sacrosanct.

Erwee leaves five of the first six deliveries alone, one of them a wide, and though drawn into following the final ball, which Potts delivers from over the wicket, he pulls his bat out of the line as it arrows across him.

Lunch.

12:59 PM

OVER 11: SA 26/0 (Elgar 12 Erwee 13)

Stokes calls up a fifth slip and posts a catching point, squarer than the gully who has been there throughout for Elgar. This time Anderson makes him play at all but the first but he blocks confidently out into the offside.

12:56 PM

OVER 10: SA 26/0 (Elgar 12 Erwee 13)

Potts elicits the mistake from Elgar, his balance caught between front and back foot and pushing hard enough at it that it flies through Crawley at second slip. The fielder got his right hand to it as he leapt to his left but it was too quick for him and burst through his fingers and scuttled down for four.

Earlier Erwee had simply elongated a forward defensive by a couple of inches to punch three past the bowler.

12:52 PM

OVER 9: SA 18/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 10)

Anderson, his usual parsimonious self, concedes just the single to Erwee, a kind of triumph for the bowler as it came via the Harrow drive. First change: Matty Potts will replace Stuart Broad.

12:50 PM

OVER 8: SA 17/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 9)

Erwee leaves the first three deliveries that broad sends down the corridor, deliveries of increasingly fuller lengths but when Broad tries to make Erwee play by angling one straight, he flicks it for a single. Broad thinks he has has his 100th Lord's Test wicket, and so does the umpire, but he is disappointed by DRS.

Dean Elgar - Kirtsy Wigglesworth/AP
Dean Elgar - Kirtsy Wigglesworth/AP

12:46 PM

Not out

No bat, hit him on the back pad and too high for leg-before. The umpire must have thought there had been an inside edge as the ball snuck between bat and pad but the speed with which Elgar made the T signal suggested that it would be overturned.

12:44 PM

SA review

Elgar c Foakes b Broad 0

12:42 PM

OVER 7: SA 16/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 8)

As he has done so far for Elgar, Anderson comes round the wicket to Erwee. The angle foxes the batsman a little, gulled into withdrawing his bat late and inside edging it past the stumps. Foakes dived to his right to parry it and they scramble a single.

Anderson almost winkles Elgar out with the next delivery, a jaffa that is speared on to a good length from round the wicket, climbs and leaves the edge by milimetres as Elgar's left leg comes round to square him up.

12:37 PM

OVER 6: SA 15/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 7)

Maiden for Broad but not a particularly probing or virtuous one as Elgar easily left four of them outside off, on height and line, and blocked the other two. Perhaps it's a matter of calibration for the bowler after such a long lay-off after Edgbaston.

12:35 PM

OVER 5: SA 15/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 7)

Too many balls on middle and leg stump so far from Anderson. He does rap Erwee on the pads with a ball that was heading down when the left-hander missed out on a flick but the two he bowls outside off are the more efficient tactic. Erwee ends the over by tickling a ball off his pads for two.

12:29 PM

OVER 4: SA 13/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 5)

Broad jags one back into Erwee from round the wicket and the left-hander snicks it into his thighpad. Erwee gets off the mark in some style by pushing forward to work the ball through midwicket for four but towards the end of the over there is a sign of something Broad is trying to exploit, the bat scissoring down from first slip to defend. It's only a glimpse and he blocks soliidly enough before pinching a single with a prod to cover.

12:24 PM

OVER 3: SA 8/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 0)

A short delay before the start of Anderson's second over while Nitin Menon's earpiece and mic, connecting him to the third umpire, are replaced. Technical issues agogo at Lord's this morning.

Erwee picks up a leg bye when trying to flick Anderson round the corner and Elgar defends a couple and leaves a couple, the last of them with a very unElgar-like flourish as he withdrew his horizontal bat. England gasp but it wasn't particularly close to off stump.

12:20 PM

OVER 2: SA 7/0 (Elgar 7 Erwee 0)

Stuart Broad shares the new ball from the Nursery End. He has missed a #RedforRuth trick by sticking with a white head band instead of switching to scarlet. He could have gone John Rambo for today but sticks with Roger Federer.  But the number and name on his shirt are in the appropriate hue. Incidentally, the point size on the font used by South Africa is massive, ideal for the myopic multitudes at the ground who generally can't pick out England's font.

Broad is trying to pitch it up but errs too full a couple of times and Elgar eases drives through mid-on for four and extra-cover for two, no more than well-timed pushes. The final ball is Broad's best, angling in from round the wicket. Elgar defends it down to fourth slip, hint of an edge but more open face.

12:13 PM

OVER 1: SA 1/0 (Elgar 1 Erwee 0)

Good shape from the start by Anderson, He has four slips and a much deeper gully for the South Africa captain Dean Elgar who leaves a couple outside off stump, whistling down the corridor, then plays tip and run through point, putting his fellow left0hander, Sarel Erwee on strike in his first Test in England. Anderson comes over the wicket and fires one down the legside. Foakes makes a smart stop for the second time in the over.

12:09 PM

Things are back up and running at Lord's

Thanks to Luke Slater for taking over as everything collapsed here. England bowled NZ out for 132 at Lord's in their first innings this summer lest we forget and India for 78 at Headingley 12 months ago. Hope springs etc. Jimmy Anderson has the ball at the Pavilion End.

12:03 PM

From Telegraph Sport's Tim Wigmore

Outstanding performance from Kagiso Rabada at Lord's - relentlessly hostile, whether bowling short or full. A phenomenon: over halfway to Dale Steyn's wicket tally, and has an even lower strike rate and average so far

11:59 AM

END OF INNINGS: ENG 165ao

South Africa excellent, you can say that much without any doubt. A bit of a struggle for England across both days. Question is what they can do with the ball in their hands?

11:58 AM

WICKET! Anderson LBW Rabada 0

Rabada does get his five! An over of causing problems for Potts, but a leading edge looping in the air brings Anderson on strike. Rabada then he traps Anderson LBW in front first ball! Big appeal and not long for the umpire's finger to go up.

Anderson reviews but unless he hit it it is surely out. Right in front. No chance of it being overturned and Rabada gets on the honours board.

FOW 165ao

11:53 AM

OVER 43: ENG 164/9 (Potts 4 Anderson 0)     

That brings Anderson to the crease. Can Rabada get a five-wicket haul?

11:53 AM

WICKET! Leach b Jansen 15

Potts gets a single after a Leach three to bring the spinner on strike... and he tries to drive (expansively, admittedly) but Jansen finds the off-stump and England are nine down...

FOW 164/9

11:45 AM

OVER 42: ENG 160/8 (Potts 4 Leach 12)     

A much more profitable over for England as Leach cracks two fours on the off-side to take England to 160 and himself to double figures. Naturally, it's almost certain that whatever England get here will not be a "good score" but get to 190 or so and then they are not completely out of the game...

11:42 AM

OVER 41: ENG 152/8 (Potts 4 Leach 4)   

Potts picks up two runs through mid-wicket off Rabada, but that's it for the over.

11:41 AM

OVER 40: ENG 150/8 (Potts 2 Leach 4)   

Apologies for the delay, the internet has gone down in the media centre at Lord's, so it's me (Luke Slater) stepping in for Rob for however long is necessary. Leach gets off the mark with a four that is squirted down to the deep third man boundary for four. Those are the only runs in Nortje's latest over.

11:40 AM

OVER 39: ENG 146/8 (Potts 2 Leach 0) 

Is England's innings coming to an end, soon?

11:29 AM

Wicket!!

Broad c Elgar b Rabada 15  Clever use of the slower ball from Rabada who tossed a cutter wider as Broad backed away, tempting him to drive and spoon it off the toe to gully.  FOW 145/8

11:28 AM

OVER 38: ENG 143/7 (Broad 13 Potts 2) 

It would be wrong to say Broad now has the cue to tee off. It's the only way he bats these days and begins the over by drilling four through cover, then, off the back foot, cuffing three down the ground. Potts is bounced twice then fed a fuller one that he drives nicely through cover for two.

Ollie Pope bowled by Rabada - Adam Davy/PA wire
Ollie Pope bowled by Rabada - Adam Davy/PA wire

11:23 AM

OVER 37: ENG 134/7 (Broad 6 Potts 0) 

Wicket maiden for Rabada who greets Potts with a bouncer.

11:18 AM

Wicket!!

Pope b Rabada 73  Drove away from his body once too often, perhaps anticipating outswing, and dragged it on to his stumps via an inside edge. There's a smattering of applause but a worried silence one he is out of sight.  FOW 134/7

11:16 AM

OVER 36: ENG 134/6 (Pope 73 Broad 6)

First taste of Nortje this morning for Pope who uses the angle from over the wicket, wide-ish on the crease, to work two through midwicket, then pats a drive through cover point for a single. Verreyne makes a spectacular flying stop at wicketkeeper to one that took off, leaping to his left to snatch it with a touch of Aaron Ramsdale theatrics.

Broad ends the over with a gift of four runs for a wild swish that looked more like four byes.

11:13 AM

OVER 35: ENG 127/6 (Pope 70 Broad 2)

After tempting the error in his previous over with a back of a length delivery, Rabada starts by pitching it up to Pope who skelps two through midwicket, sweetly timed, and then reaches across to square drive away from his body for a single, happy to expose Broad, potentially to four balls. I don't suppose you can farm the strike from a No8, and it's not part of the Stokes/McCullum ethos in any case.

Broad swings through the line handsomely and chips two through mid-off then plays an extraordinary shot, walking down and then hopping away from the ball as it veered towards his toes, mid swipe. A guffaw goes around the crowd.

11:08 AM

OVER 34: ENG 122/6 (Pope 67 Broad 0)

Very good from Rabada to draw the edge from Pope, shorter and angling it in.

Broad takes on Nortje's 93mph attack from round the wicket by backing away and swinging the bat. He doesn't connect but survives nonetheless, but not for very much longer one would hazard.

11:06 AM

OVER 33: ENG 122/6 (Pope 67 Broad 0)

Pope starts brightly, using his feet, first to defend then to throw Rabada off his line. He punches two down the ground, then flicks four down to fine leg when the bowler strays too straight. If you saw Jason Roy's juggling catch last night to dismiss Dawid Malan in the Hundred, here we have the other side of the coin when Erwee has several attempts at clinging on to a dolly at first slip, pat, pat, pat, desperate clutch, and drops it. That's a life for Pope and a huge disappointment for Rabada who was already on his victory lap.

10:57 AM

Both teams line up in their commemorative red caps

And after the players are presented to some families the foundation has been supporting and the morning bell (not Thom Yorke's) is rung and Jerusalem, the caps will be handed over to be auctioned for the fund.

The seats are between a half and two-thirds full and there is plenty of red on show: T-shirts, hats and, of course at Lord's, trousers.

10:49 AM

It's #RedforRuth day at Lord's

You can read all about the foundation set up in memory of Ruth Strauss and contribute to the cause here.

Red for Ruth rosette - Adam Davy/PA Wire
Red for Ruth rosette - Adam Davy/PA Wire

10:42 AM

It's a bright morning at Lord's

The temperature is a very pleasant 21C and the only prospect of rain, according to the Met Office, is a 30 per cent chance between noon and the lunch break at 1pm.

10:38 AM

Good morning

And welcome to live coverage of day two of the first Test between England and South Africa from Lord's. There may have been time before the deluge for only 32 overs of play yesterday but we were privileged to watch a terrific performance from the touring side's pace quartet, from the attack leader Kagiso Rabada's relentlessness from the Nursery End to the breathless pace of Anrich Nortje, penetratingly precise once he had switched to the Pavilion End to replace the height and prodigious swing of Marco Jansen. That's not to overlook Lungi Ngidi's nagging opening spell. He may be wicketless so far but he will take plenty in the series if he maintains that line and length with such bite.

Ollie Pope was the one bright bat for England, playing with pluck and skill to make 61 valuable runs and the onus is on him this morning to help England towards a respectable score. Five years ago at the Oval, England bowled South Africa out in their first innings for 175 and if they can do something approaching that again, we ought to have one of those tight 'nipper' matches at which England have generally excelled for years. But to do that they will need a score that means they do not concede too heavy a first-innings lead and with England's long tail that will be a tall order for Pope and his maturity.

There was plenty of condemnation last night for England's batting and the manner of their dismissals. I'm not sure all that much of it was justified in very helpful bowling conditions exploited by an expert, balanced attack. Yes, Jonny Bairstow played a loose stroke but that was out of character for him this season and he deserves some slack. Joe Root's was a tight call, Ben Stokes may have batted frenetically as has become his habit but he was undone by a wonderful delivery and the long-standing problem with the openers remain. It's more about selection than character in their case. There is still time for redemption, though it will be down to the bowlers to dig them out of this hole.