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Jimmy Anderson frustrated by England's batting against South Africa

16 July 2017

James Anderson and Joe Root took the fight to South Africa in the second test at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Then a seventh-wicket stand between Vernon Philander and Chris Morris, worth 74 runs so far, left the match finely-balanced.

South Africa great Graeme Pollock told AFP the Proteas will have to accept being a "middle of the road" Test side at best if they stick with racial transformation as a key component of selection.

"It might be that the seamers play a bigger part this week, and that excites me", he said.

England's top order failed - again - on the first morning, and the lunchtime 82-4 could have been even worse given the let-offs Root had before he had got going in his ultimately match-defining 190.

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It was yet another example of the resilience of a South Africa side who have lost just one of their last 19 away Test series. "The first Test was plain sailing for him as captain but it's a real test here". Anderson picked up three more wickets to finish with figures of 5-72 as South Africa crumbled from 309-6 to 335 all out.

Englands batting let them down as they were bowled out for 205 in little more than 50 overs. Cook got an inside edge to an inswinger from Philander that was missed by the on-field umpire when he ruled not-out to a caught-behind appeal. Root's performance at Lord's suggests the remaining three Tests will not be short of headline-making heroics.

Root reached his half-century in the final over before lunch, getting there off just 40 balls thanks to nine fours, and improved his scoring rate to over a run-a-ball on the resumption despite testing spells from Philander and Morkel.

Morris then closed the face and got a leading edge back to England's all-time record wicket-taker, who completed South Africa's slide when Morne Morkel was last out - edging an expansive drive behind to Jonny Bairstow.

It was the end of Root's impressive 76-ball innings, featuring 12 fours, with England now 143 for four.

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They put on 113 for the third wicket but De Kock flashed at the first ball after tea from Broad and sliced a catch to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Finding a spinner to settle on who can control an innings when necessary is their next priority, and unless Gary Ballance starts to score runs soon, so is finding a long-term number 3.

England's torrid time with reviews continued as they tried to challenge another LBW decision in the first over of the second session.

"We definitely want to make sure we make this start count", Root told reporters at Trent Bridge on Thursday, with England looking to go an unassailable 2-0 up in this four-match series.

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