England v South Africa: first Test, day two – live! | England v South Africa 2022


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Key events

“Good morning from Chiswick,” says Ed, “where the weather is looking hopeful for a full day’s cricket. Looking forward to seeing Anderson and Broad wallop it around for half an hour this morning before removing SA’s top five for diddly squat.”

Well, Broad is a walloper, and he’s just been on the telly saying this is not a pitch to “poke and prod” on, because there’ll soon be “a ball with your name on”. But I’m not so sure about Anderson – it’s been some time since he was in touch with his inner slogger.

Correction! Play is not starting at 10.30. According to a tweet from Lord’s itself, the start is at 11am BST. Apologies for misleading you. Cricket, like God, moves in mysterious ways.

The covers are off! And the commentators are wearing red for the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Teamed with black trousers, in the case of Ian Ward and Mike Atherton, while Mel Jones and Andrew Strauss go for the full scarlet suit. I have to say, it works better for her than for him – but total respect to Sir Andrew and his boys for the funds they have raised and the way they’ve turned a sad loss into something so uplifting. If you feel a donation coming on, please go here.

Mel Jones, Ian Ward, Andrew Strauss, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher pose in their Red For Ruth jackets before the start of play on day two.
Mel Jones, Ian Ward, Andrew Strauss, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher pose in their Red For Ruth jackets before the start of play on day two. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Send us your thoughts

This is not a public comment – only the Guardian can see your message. Our writers will monitor these messages and respond to some in the live blog, but unfortunately they will not be able to respond to every message.

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Preamble: all or nothing

Morning everyone and welcome to the second day of a series that has already proved to be gripping (if also dripping). We begin today with a quiz question. What’s next in this sequence: 136, 162, 71, 106, 114?

The answer is … 0. That’s what Jonny Bairstow scored yesterday, as the purplest patch of his long Test career was rudely interrupted by a fast straight ball from Anrich Nortje. One minute you’re racking up 589 for three times out, the next you’re being escorted off the field by Daddles the duck.

Amazon’s All Or Nothing is the right title in the wrong sport. The Arsenal season covered in the latest series was neither all nor nothing – they finished fifth in the Premier League, exactly as expected – whereas almost every batter in world cricket is riding the all-or-nothing rollercoaster all the time. Directly before his 136, Bairstow made seven consecutive scores below 30. His Test average this year, when England are put in to bat, is 7.33. When England win the toss and field, it’s 121.33.

The cape Bairstow couldn’t find yesterday was being worn by Ollie Pope, who looked more like a senior player than he ever had before. He was busy but not frantic, positive but not foolhardy, carefree but not careless. He hit only four fours off 87 balls yet still managed a strike rate of 70. He resumes this morning, on 61 not out, as England’s last hope of a respectable total.

The South Africans won’t worry about Pope unless he doubles his tally. Their strike rate has been phenomenal: six wickets in 32 overs. Kagiso Rabada needs fewer balls to dismiss a batter than any bowler in history with 150 Test wickets. Marshall, Cummins, Trueman, Garner: every one a maestro, but none as good, by this yardstick, as the mighty Rabada. Yesterday he surgically removed England’s openers, then took a break and watched Nortje demolish the middle order. This morning they may well open together and have a race to a spot on the honours board.

Play starts at 10.30am BST, weather permitting, to make up some of the time lost yesterday. Do stay with us – it’s unlikely to be dull.



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