Gritty Quinton de Kock fights back for South Africa vs England

Updated: 27 December, 2019 08:33 IST | AFP | Centurion

Photographer Christiaan Kotze became part of the story on Thursday when he was injured in front of the sightscreen and caused a delay to the start of a Test match - and possibly contributed to South African batsman Dean Elgar's wicket.

South Africa's Quinton de Kock smashes one against England on the opening day of the first Test at Centurion yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
South Africa's Quinton de Kock smashes one against England on the opening day of the first Test at Centurion yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

Centurion: Sam Curran took four wickets for England, while Quinton de Kock played a crucial innings of 95 for South Africa on the first day of the first Test at SuperSport Park on Thursday. South Africa were 277 for nine at the close, providing justification for captain Joe Root's decision to bowl first. But it could have been a lot better for England—and worse for South Africa.

The hosts were in deep trouble at 111 for five before De Kock counter-attacked to make a half-century off 45 balls. De Kock played some risky strokes early in his innings but was more circumspect after his initial flurry of strokes.

Having been 64 not out off 69 balls at tea, De Kock needed 59 balls to add 31 more runs before fellow left-hander Curran had him caught behind. Curran took four for 57 and was the best of the England bowlers, keeping a fuller length than his teammates and slanting the ball across right-handed batsmen, with some balls swinging back in and others moving away.

Stuart Broad, recovered from illness, took three for 52. James Anderson, playing in his 150th Test—the first specialist bowler to reach the milestone—took a wicket with the first ball of the match when Dean Elgar nudged what looked no more than a leg side loosener to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Elgar's fellow opener Aiden Markram also fell to a loose shot, clipping Curran.

Injured photographer delays play

Photographer Christiaan Kotze became part of the story on Thursday when he was injured in front of the sightscreen and caused a delay to the start of a Test match—and possibly contributed to South African batsman Dean Elgar's wicket. Kotze, on assignment for AFP, had finished shooting some pre-play images before the first Test between South Africa and England. He was walking in front of the sightscreen when he tripped on the boundary rope and then lost his footing on a slippery pitch cover.

He collapsed in severe pain from what was diagnosed as badly-sprained right knee ligaments and needed medical treatment on the spot before he was carried away on a stretcher.
The start of the match was delayed by several minutes—and when it began Elgar played a loose shot and was caught behind down the leg side off the first ball of the match, delivered by James Anderson.

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First Published: 27 December, 2019 08:18 IST

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