VERNON PHILANDER and Chris Morris fully justified the Standard Bank Proteas decision to balance their side with two bowling all-rounders rather than the extra specialist batsman on the opening day of the second Test match against England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday. After Faf du Plessis had won the toss and taken the courageous yet correct decision to bat first under overcast skies the Proteas were set up for a big total by the 113-run partnership for the third wicket between Hashim Amla and their new No. 4 Quinton de Kock. However, they suffered a setback in the final session when they lost four wickets for 56 runs, including both Amla and De Kock, before Philander and Morris shared an unbroken partnership of 74 runs to get the Proteas to the close on a healthy 309/6. Philander finished with his second half-century of the series and currently has a series average of 124. With the pitch showing signs of getting slower and the odd delivery – admittedly outside the line of the stumps at this stage – keeping low any total in the region of 400 could be more than useful. Stuart Broad (3/47) was the most successful England bowler.

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