England end day one on positive note
Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope’s unbeaten 56 partnership saw England end the first day of the third Test against South Africa on 224-4.
England came into the third Test against the Proteas on the back of a rare win in Cape Town following yet more brilliance from Ben Stokes
However, the Port Elizabeth surface proved to be awkward for the batsmen with the first day certainly being a slow burner.
The opening partnership of Dom Sibley, fresh from his century in the second Test, and Zak Crawley looked to be going well until the latter's departure - after a fantastic catch at leg gully by Rassie van der Dussen - sparked a revival from South Africa, who grabbed three wickets for just 35 runs.
After Joe Denly and Joe Root departed, it fell to Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope to drag England back to life.
Stokes' 38 and Pope's 39 led England to end the day in a reasonably commanding position on 224-4-.
Pope, in particular, looked confident and assured at the crease despite the match being just the 22-year-old's sixth Test.
Speaking afterwards, Crawley says England are in a good position going into day two and managed to deal well with the tricky conditions.
"Hopefully we can bat for a long while tomorrow and put them in. It [the pitch] is only going to get worse from here," he told Sky Sports.
"It was as slow as I have batted for a while. I think everyone found it very hard to score. It did quicken up a little. Hopefully, that continues to bring the nicks into the game."
Dan McCarthy is a reporter who is very knowledgeable about football at all levels, and a keen Leeds United fan. He also follows darts, snooker, motorsport, and rugby league.