Durban , 27 December : Stuart Broad produced two key spells to knock over both the Castle Lager Proteas batting kingpins to give England the possible advantage after day two of the first Sunfoil Test match at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Sunday.
The Proteas had done well to restrict England to a first innings total of 303 thanks in the main to a superb spell with the second new ball by Morne Morkel who took 3 wickets in 6 balls and almost claimed a hat trick.
But then Broad got rid of Stiaan van Zyl and Hashim Amla with his new ball spell and then claimed AB de Villiers in his second spell to put an end to a threatening partnership of 86 for the third wicket between De Villiers and Dean Elgar.
Broad conceded only 8 runs in each of his two five-over spells to finish the day with the outstanding figures of 3/16 in 10. He had earlier played his role with the bat as well, taking the lead in an important last-wicket stand of 36 with Steve Finn.
The Proteas finished the day on 137/4 with Elgar unbeaten on 67 (155 balls, 5 fours and a six) but, with an overall deficit of 166, he, Temba Bavuma and JP Duminy have a great deal of work still to do. On a pitch that is going to become more difficult day by day the first innings advantage is going to be crucial.
The Proteas do have the advantage of the second new ball still being a full session away (28 overs). On the other hand the ball is already very soft and it is not going to be easy for the Proteas to push the pace along. Elgar, as did Nick Compton (85 off 236 balls, 8 fours) in England’s first innings, has shown that patience is the way to go.
The second new ball will create opportunities for England’s useful seam attack but it will also create the opportunity for quicker scoring.
Morkel finished the England innings with figures of 4/76 and Steyn with 4/70 with the latter’s final wicket of the innings being his 50th in Test matches against England.
Elgar also passed a landmark in scoring his 1 000th Test match run (3 centuries and 4 half-centuries to date).