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The Trent Bridge Test hurried on apace on the second morning as South Africa's seamers removed both England openers after James Anderson had made light work of their tail on an arousing bowling morning.
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings were rounded up in only 4.1 overs as South Africa made their 335 look a distinctly useful total, only for England's captain Joe Root, with Gary Ballance in support, to counter-attack splendidly against an increasingly over-excited attack.
Root and Ballance included 14 boundaries in an 82-run partnership spanning only 77 balls, symptomatic of South Africa's ill-discipline in favourable, overcast conditions offering swing and seam alike. As the 1970s English comedian, Ken Goodwin, might have encouraged them: "Settle down now, settle down."
Nevertheless, they did have Cook and Jennings done and dusted by lunch as England cut the deficit to 250.
It took a review to remove Cook, with South Africa searching, initially at least, for an lbw as an inswinger from Vernon Philander flew off the pad to the wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. That mode of dismissal was ruled out by an inside nick, only for Cook to be dismissed courtesy of a keeper's catch.
Jennings fell to the next delivery, this time from Morne Morkel, a peach of a delivery from around the wicket which bounced and left the Durham left-hander.
The rest was an England feast. Root produced some princely off-side drives from the outset and had another Test fifty to his name by the interval. Ballance, who got off the mark with a fortunate edge wide of gully off Philander, offering hunched support, sitting deep in his crease with the suspicious air of a mole peering out of a mole hill.
Anderson, albeit against the tail, was much more clinical as he collected a five-wicket haul as England took the last four South Africa wickets in only 6.2 overs for the addition of only 26 runs.
He demolished the tail in a spell of 4 for 4 in only 20 deliveries to finish with 5 for 72, taking five in an innings for the 22nd time in his Test career.
England had carped about the second new ball on the previous evening, and they managed to negotiate an immediate change on the second morning. The skies were grey, the floodlights were on and Anderson had a spring in his step, his 34 years falling off him with every delivery.
Anderson was only five balls into his work, hardly time to get the lungs motoring, when Vernon Philander became his first victim. Philander had made a contented half-century on the first evening, but he had not added to his overnight 54 when he popped a catch into the covers off a leading edge as he fell to a back-of-a-length delivery.
Keshav Maharaj followed without scoring in Anderson's next over, outwitted by the inswinger/outswinger routine, his edge inviting Joe Root to hold a flamboyant catch at second slip.
While Stuart Broad persisted on his home ground without success, Anderson gained further reward in each of his next two overs. Chris Morris was South Africa's best hope of a late-order retort, but he was defeated by extra bounce and pushed back a gentle catch which Anderson grabbed at the second attempt.
That left Morne Morkel: another outswinger, a thin edge and a simple catch for Jonny Bairstow.
Anderson had ensured that England were not unduly detained. But South Africa now had use of perfect bowling conditions and they braced themselves for an awkward period before the skies cleared, according to the forecast, later in the day.
David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps
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