Durban: Nick Compton and James Taylor hit half-centuries and dug England out of trouble on a rain-hit first day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Dale Steyn. Pic/Getty Images
England were 179 for four at the close of play after being sent in to bat. Fast bowler Dale Steyn spoiled a good recovery by the tourists when he struck shortly before the close, having Taylor caught behind for 70. Compton and Taylor came together with England struggling on 49 for three and forged a partnership of 125 off 274 balls.
Taylor was dismissed in fading light, capping a fine comeback from injury by Steyn, who took three for 29. Steyn dismissed English opening batsmen Alastair Cook and Alex Hales cheaply, while off-spinner Dane Piedt took the wicket of Joe Root for 24 with his first ball of the match.
Compton and Taylor batted solidly on a slow pitch which did not offer the bowlers as much assistance as South African captain Hashim Amla might have hoped when he won the toss and sent England in to bat in overcast conditions. Compton was resolute and almost strokeless at times as he made 63 not out off 179 balls.