London : Quinton de Kock made a superb counter-attacking fifty only to fall shortly before lunch on the third day at Lord’s as England stayed on top in the first Test against South Africa.
The Proteas were 323 for eight at lunch — still 135 runs behind England’s first innings 458 and with all their frontline batsmen dismissed.
Vernon Philander was 21 not out and Keshav Maharaj five not out.
Wicket-keeper/batsman de Kock delighted a capacity crowd with a 36-ball fifty – the second fastest in a Test at Lord’s — featuring 10 fours.
But the 24-year-old left-hander’s innings ended when, to his obvious frustration, he sliced a square-drive off James Anderson and Ben Stokes, England’s best fielder, held an excellent low catch, going to his right, in the covers.
South Africa resumed on 214 for five — still 244 runs behind an England total which featured Joe Root’s 190 in his first Test as England captain as well as fifties from Moeen Ali (87), Stuart Broad (57 not out) and Ben Stokes (56).
Temba Bavuma was 48 not out and nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada unbeaten on nine, with sunny blue skies promising good batting conditions.
It would have been an awkward evening for Rabada who on Friday was banned from next week’s second Test at Trent Bridge after his verbal abuse of Stokes on Thursday’s first day, combined with previous offences under the International Cricket Council code of conduct, saw him incur a one-Test suspension. It took Bavuma 12 deliveries to complete his fifty but he got to the landmark when he he square-drove Stokes for his ninth four in 114 balls faced.
England, fielding two spinners in a Lord’s Test for the first time since 1993, then saw both their slow bowlers take wickets.
Hampshire left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, on his home debut, made the initial breakthrough with just his second ball Saturday when Rabada (27) edged to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.