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England strike back after Stephen Cook century

England strike back after Stephen Cook century
Stephen Cook celebrating his maiden Test century in the fourth Test against England in Centurion.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 329-5 (Stephen 115) v England
Fourth Test, Centurion, day one

Stephen Cook became the hundredth debutant to score a Test century after which England pegged back the South African first innings total to 329 for five at stumps on day one of the fourth Test in Centurion. 

Earlier in the day, Hashim Amla posted his 25th Test hundred and added a 202-run partnership with Stephen for the second wicket.

South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first under gloomy skies. Stephen was handed a debut while JP Duminy was drafted in for Faf du Plessis. Quinton de Kock, Kyle Abbott and Dane Piedt were also selected for the game.

England on the other hand picked Chris Woakes to replace the injured Steven Finn.

Stephen (115) and Dean Elgar (20) got off the mark with a boundary each. After a 44-minute vigil, Elgar was snaffled brilliantly at short leg by James Taylor off Moeen Ali (2-52).

Stephen continued to play cautiously on his debut and added a 50-run stand with Hashim Amla (109) in 72 balls.

Early in his innings, Amla was dropped while batting on five by Jonny Bairstow off Ben Stokes (1-57). It was a really tough chance for the wicket-keeper though.

Amla made good use of the reprieve as he and Stephen pushed South Africa to 107 for one at the end of the first session.

Two overs into the second session, Stephen was dropped off Stuart Broad (1-65) by Bairstow. With a boundary through covers, Stephen completed his maiden fifty while Amla soon joined him in a similar fashion.

The boundary from Amla also brought up the 100-run partnership for the second wicket. Amla and Stephen continued to score runs at a healthy pace while England found no answers.

Amla was aggressive while Stephen dropped anchor at the other end. Batting without the pressure of captaincy on his shoulders, Amla brought up his 25th Test hundred in 131 balls.

By the end of the second session, South Africa scored 224 for one from 58 overs.

A burst water pipe caused a delay to the start of the final session. Five overs into the final session and soon after the 200-run stand with Stephen, Amla played a Stokes delivery onto his stumps, ending his 169-ball knock.

AB de Villiers (0) lasted all but two deliveries as he feathered an edge to Joe Root in the slips. It was the 10th time Broad managed to dismiss de Villiers in Test cricket.

In the next over, Stephen was struck on the pads and survived an England review after the replays showed umpire’s call with the ball just about clipping leg stump.

Off the very next delivery, Stephen went on to become the 100th player in the history of the game to score a Test century on debut.

In the 75th over, Stephen made a late decision to drive a Woakes’ (1-74) delivery and ended up edging the ball onto his stumps.

Two overs later, JP Duminy (16) attempted to go over mid-wicket against Moeen Ali (2-52) but missed and was trapped LBW. South Africa lost half their side with 273 runs on the board.

However, Temba Bavuma (32 not out) and de Kock (25 not out) saw the remaining overs with their unbeaten 56-run stand as the Proteas ended the day at 329 for five.

Ali picked couple of wickets while Broad, Stokes and Woakes managed a wicket apiece.

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