Basil D'Oliveira Trophy - 1st Test

England v South Africa

South Africa won by an innings and 12 runs

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150

Interesting, Morne Morkel gets the first over and he's round the wicket straight away

Hello everyone. We are almost ready to start. Smith leads out South Africa, there's a good atmosphere. This should be superb.

11.11am: Right, I've fluffed for all I'm worth - here's Gnasher for the main event. See you all again in 45!

11.10am: "As a Saffer, I see this as a test between South Africa vs The Commonwealth. How many actual Brits are in the England team?" wonders Rob, who's obviously thinks Imran Tahir was born in Durban.

11.05am: They're biting ... "India might be ranked fifth in the world," fumes Aditya, "but can someone please remind me when was the last time England won any match in India?"

P-C has the right idea: "Nice gesture from Cricket South Africa to fly the parents of the English squad over for 1st Test."

And here's Alex: "@John Muir, I wouldnt count Tahir out, remember how much success he had in county cricket"

11am: We are 15 minutes from watching Dale Steyn tear in like a bright white shark. Morne Morkel, too, likes nothing better than to bowl at Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook - he's got both out six times, more than any other batsmen Morkel has dismissed. England fans will also get a first look at Vernon Philander in Tests ... Excited? Nervous? Terrified?!

Here's John Muir: "Chetan's comment would be true if we were talking about a 7-a-side match. However, this is 11-a-side and England's depth is better than SA's. The Saffers have a brittle middle order and a long tail and Swann's a lot better spinner in English conditions. In the end the extra quality of England's lower order and Swann against the SA left-handers might prove decisive."

10.55am: Time for the toss, which Andrew Strauss wins: England will bat first, with Bresnan confirmed in the starting XI. The teams are as expected then:

England 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

South Africa 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Jacques Rudolph, 7 JP Duminy, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

Strauss suggests the wicket will be good for batting; and Graeme Smith seems to agree, though he mentions the "bit of overhead" that may help his bowlers.

10.51am: Hearing that we will have an 11.15am start. Also, a few whispers that Tim Bresnan is in ahead of Steven Finn for England ...

10.50am: A good point from Dom Allen: "The race to No 1 in 1995 was clearly not as memorable as you suggest Alan. Oasis put up Roll With It to go head to head with Blur's Country House, not Wonderwall." There goes my chance of a Radio 1 slot ... You can tell which of the two I had expunged from my brain.

10.45am: Ahoy, there! I can see 22-yards of cut strip! Looks like the phantom cloudburst has passed and we can all start getting geed up again. Expect the captains back out for the toss shortly.

"Chetan..." hollers Hassan. "England's toughest challenge was the Tests in UAE and losing 3-0 to Pakistan. Home conditions they should do well. Next Tough challenge be v India!!!" India? Aren't they ranked something like fifth in the world?

10.42am: Don't think we're going to start on time, with the square still entirely under wraps. Go pour yourself another isotonic cup of tea ...

b>10.40am: "Argh," wails Ed Bowden. "Why do they always do this? Toss in 15 minutes? Start in 15 minutes? Why not stay out there and toss ASAP. There are millions of people watching, listening, waiting." Well, you wouldn't want to win the toss, choose to bat, then sit watching it rain for two hours, would you?

10.35am: A few covers on the square now, too. As you can see from the rain radar, there's not much in the air around London ... but the one rain cloud worthy of the name has found its way to The Oval. What a sense of occasion!

10.30am: The captains are out for the toss ... and, would you Adam and Eve it, the covers have been pushed back on and it looks like we're going to have a brief delay. There's a big, black beetle of a cloud squatting over the ground, though it doesn't look like it's raining.

10.25am: "England in for their toughest challenge yet," says Chetan. "Saffers' batting is a touch better than England, possibly even with the ball... though England probably shade it in the field especially with AB behind the stumps and not at point. 1-0 to Saffers by Monday!" It's a proper mouthwaterer. Hazarding a prediction is a hazard too far for me ...

10.20am: Did somebody mention the OLYMPICS? No. But if you are interested in tube delays and budget overspends, ESPN.co.uk have it covered.

10.15am: Alongside the team contest and individual subplots, one man is definitely going to reach a significant milestone today, with South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, set to play his 100th Test. We've got Telford Vice on misunderstood Biff, Andrew McGlashan's five-of-the-best, a gallery and timeline, not to mention S Rajesh's stats smorgasbord.

10.10am: So, can South Africa be top trumps and steal England's No. 1 ranking with a series victory? The opening skirmishes will give us a glimpse of what's to come but, just like Jimmy Anderson on an overcast morning, this contest is likely to swing both ways.

Here's Mark Kidger with an early call: "This must be the most eagerly anticipated series since 2005. South Africa haven't lost away since 2006. England haven't lost at home since 2008. Is one of those sequences going to break or does that portent a drawn series? England to win 2-1 after a big struggle."

10.05am: Bad news, rain fans - puffy white clouds are drifting over south London and we are all set for some cricket. Toss and teams news will be coming up but to get you in the mood, here is some link-o-rama: the first Test preview; George Dobell on a series Test cricket needs; Fidose Moonda on South Africa's No. 1 aim; and Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan's bumper stats package.

9.55am: Good morning. Are you feeling dangerous? I'm Alan Gardner and, along with my colleagues Andrew McGlashan and Alex Winter, we'll be bringing you live coverage of the first Test between England and South Africa at The Oval. This series is all about the race for No.1 - so perhaps you should think of me as Mark Goodier* - and I can promise it'll be at least as memorable as Wonderwall Roll With It vs. Country House. Having been woken up this morning by a police chase through my back garden, to be followed by an anticipated seven hours of sniffing burning leather propelled by the two best bowling attacks in the world, I couldn't be more excited if I was was of these guys.

*This joke may not work outside the UK

0.1

Morkel to Strauss, no run, starts full on off stump and Strauss defends solidly to the off side

0.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, completely loses his line from round the wicket, speared way down the leg side

0.3

Morkel to Strauss, no run, now wide outside off stump, also quite full, and Strauss leaves alone. It balloons through to AB de Villiers

Morkel improved during South Africa's two warm-up matches after a poor start

0.4

Morkel to Strauss, OUT, huge appeal for lbw! GIven not out by Steve Davis. And we have a review in the first over. Front foot is fine. Blimey this looks very close. Hit on the knee roll, playing across his front pad. It's three reds! He'll be gone. Hitting middle and leg.

AJ Strauss lbw b Morkel 0 (2m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Like the 2010-11 Ashes series Strauss has gone in the first over. The Oval is stunned by that. Smith's decision to open with Morkel is handsomely rewarded. What a start for South Africa.

Here's Jonathan Trott. This will be spicy

0.5

Morkel to Trott, FOUR, what calmness from Trott, he just leans onto an elegant on drive and sends the ball race down the ground. All timing and mid-on was standing quite wide

0.6

Morkel to Trott, 2 runs, full on off stump, punched into the on-side again and there's a misfield at mid-on which allows Trott a bonus couple

Phew, what an action-packed opening over. Plenty of hype around this series. Looks like it will live up to every word

End of over 1 (6 runs) England 6/1
IJL Trott    6* (2b 1x4)      M Morkel    1-0-6-1
AN Cook    0* (0b)     

Still no Dale Steyn. Vernon Philander, Test average 14, will share the new ball

1.1

Philander to Cook, no run, starts back of a length to Cook who plays to midwicket

1.2

Philander to Cook, no run, fuller this time on middle and off, hint of movement as Cook plays into the covers

1.3

Philander to Cook, no run, Cook needs be careful going across his front pad as he plays towards mid-on

1.4

Philander to Cook, 3 runs, outside leg stump and easily picked off by Cook through square leg...the outfield is a bit slower than usual after all the recent rain

"As an Englishman, the 2010/11 Ashes series sounds like a good precedent to me!" says James

1.5

Philander to Trott, no run, back of a length outside off and it's left alone

Here's Nas: "Battle of the Captains. First Blood to Graeme Smith 1-0."

1.6

Philander to Trott, no run, full on off stump, brings Trott into a drive which finds mid-off...steady start from Philander

End of over 2 (3 runs) England 9/1
IJL Trott    6* (4b 1x4)      VD Philander    1-0-3-0
AN Cook    3* (4b)      M Morkel    1-0-6-1

Three slips and a gully in place plus a man at leg gully

2.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, stays round the wicket to Cook who is given width outside off and leaves alone

2.2

Morkel to Cook, 1 no ball, wide outside off again and another sighter for Cook...Morkel has also overstepped

I often think how Morkel looks quite awkward at the bowling crease, although he is often mighty effective

2.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, a little fuller but still does not make Cook play outside off

2.3

Morkel to Cook, 1 no ball, he's having a few issues with the frontline, this one is quite a big no-ball

Madhu, one of our stats team, has this: "Strauss has now been dismissed seven times each by Morne Morkel and Makhaya Ntini. He has been dismissed most often by Shane Warne (8 times)."

2.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, gets his feet in position this time but he isn't making the batsman play which is a waste with the new ball

2.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, full and wide, Cook happy to leave those alone for hours

2.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, goes even fuller and he's getting a little closer to off stump but no bat on ball

2.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, finally make him play, good length on off stump and defended to the covers

Not a great over from Morkel

End of over 3 (2 runs) England 11/1
AN Cook    3* (12b)      M Morkel    2-0-8-1
IJL Trott    6* (4b 1x4)      VD Philander    1-0-3-0

3.1

Philander to Trott, no run, just outside off and left alone by Trott who judged it well

Mike says: "Just watching Philander bowl on the TV- he has a bit of the late great Malcolm Marshall about his action- nice and smooth - as well as his average."

3.2

Philander to Trott, no run, full around off stump, Trott comes onto the front foot and defends to the off side

3.3

Philander to Trott, no run, onto the front foot again to defend

3.4

Philander to Trott, no run, shorter outside off and Trott cuts to backward point

3.5

Philander to Trott, no run, a beauty! Draws Trott forward again and beats the outside edge with a lovely outswinger...AB de Villiers can't gather the ball cleanly

3.6

Philander to Trott, FOUR, takes the edge but it's played well by Trott with fairly soft hands so the ball goes to ground between third slip and gully down to third man

End of over 4 (4 runs) England 15/1
IJL Trott    10* (10b 2x4)      VD Philander    2-0-7-0
AN Cook    3* (12b)      M Morkel    2-0-8-1

Still no Steyn...

4.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, outside off and Cook does not go near it

4.2

Morkel to Cook, FOUR, onto the front foot, played with a slightly open face and it runs backward of square to the short third-man boundary

4.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, wide outside off, left alone...carries at waist-height to de Villiers

4.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, that's better from Morkel, Cook can still shoulder arms but it came back into the batsman with the angle

The floodlights are coming on

4.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, pitches very full on the popping crease and is wide of off stump

4.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, another leave to end the over

"Smart thinking my Smith to open up with Morkel," says Kevin. "Sure the England openers were expecting some Steyn swing, and then suddenly had to change their thinking..."

End of over 5 (4 runs) England 19/1
AN Cook    7* (18b 1x4)      M Morkel    3-0-12-1
IJL Trott    10* (10b 2x4)      VD Philander    2-0-7-0

This early sparring is fascinating...Philander continues

5.1

Philander to Trott, no run, loud appeal for lbw, but more from the bowler than anyone else...Trott was coming forward and he was struck high on the back leg

5.2

Philander to Trott, no run, swings away from Trott outside off and he watches it go through

5.3

Philander to Trott, 2 runs, back of a length, angling into Trott, and it's whipped neatly off the hip down to long leg who is fielding quite square

5.4

Philander to Trott, no run, this one zips off the surface a bit more and carries with decent pace through to de Villiers

5.5

Philander to Trott, no run, think Trott played at this one as it swings past the outside edge, he pulled the bat inside the line but after the ball had gone

5.6

Philander to Trott, no run, solidly defended back to the bowler

"Sometimes the ball actually swings more with a few overs behind it - one side getting the shine worked on," says Erik. "Steyn should swing it miles then."

End of over 6 (2 runs) England 21/1
IJL Trott    12* (16b 2x4)      VD Philander    3-0-9-0
AN Cook    7* (18b 1x4)      M Morkel    3-0-12-1

6.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, Cook's had plenty of deliveries he can leave alone and this is another one

6.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, and another as Morkel continues to be too wide

There's a hush around the ground at the moment. Everyone glued to these crucial early moments

6.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, much better delivery, makes Cook play and it takes the outside edge but drops short of third slip

6.4

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, fuller on off stump, pushed into the gap between point and mid-off

6.5

Morkel to Trott, 2 runs, beautiful timing from Trott. A short-of-a-length delivery is nudged through square leg which one of his favourite shots...Philander does well cut off the boundary sliding at deep square

6.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, finishes the over with a very short bouncer which Trott easily avoids

End of over 7 (3 runs) England 24/1
IJL Trott    14* (18b 2x4)      M Morkel    4-0-15-1
AN Cook    8* (22b 1x4)      VD Philander    3-0-9-0

7.1

Philander to Cook, no run, plenty of movement on this delivery as it hoops away late from the left hander but it started too wide

7.2

Philander to Cook, no run, pushed across Cook who leaves alone

"Playing Morkel's like playing Mitch Johnson," suggest John Muir. "You have to be able to deal with the one good ball he bowls every three overs. Strauss missed out; the other England batsmen mustn't make the same mistake."

7.3

Philander to Cook, no run, comes onto the front foot to a straighter delivery and traps the ball between bat and pad

7.4

Philander to Cook, 1 no ball, and now Philander over-steps, Cook defends to the off side but there is certainly late swing on offer

7.4

Philander to Cook, 1 leg bye, pitches outside leg stump, takes the pad backward of square

Here's Madhu again: "It is the third time in 2012 that England's first wicket has fallen on 0. Cook and Strauss now have eight zero-run partnerships. It brings them level with Hayden and Langer. Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya have the most such stands (10)."

7.5

Philander to Trott, no run, he's moving the ball both aways as this one swings away from the right hander

Steyn is starting to loosen up

7.6

Philander to Trott, no run, nice bowling, after the outswinger this one nips back into Trott who defends slightly awkwardly to the leg side

End of over 8 (2 runs) England 26/1
IJL Trott    14* (20b 2x4)      VD Philander    4-0-10-0
AN Cook    8* (27b 1x4)      M Morkel    4-0-15-1

Cook pulls away with some movement behind the arm.

"Personally I am very impressed that they have made Steyn 1st change," says Gerald. "For the last 18 months Steyn has had little success opening the bowling and has always come good with a slightly older ball. With the new ball he almost swung it too much."

8.1

Morkel to Cook, 3 runs, nicely time by Cook, back of a length and coming into the batsman who works it through midwicket across the very wide square at The Oval which means the ball runs away

8.2

Morkel to Trott, no run, another big appeal for lbw. Another not-out from Steve Davis. Will they review again? Nope, not this time. Trott fell across the stumps as he tried to play to leg and replays say it was clipping leg

8.3

Morkel to Trott, no run, on off stump, worked into the leg side

8.4

Morkel to Trott, no run, splayed wide outside off and Trott is not bothered by it

8.5

Morkel to Trott, no run, very short, very wide and pretty poor from Morkel

8.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, too wide outside off again and left alone

"Just got back from the pub, blew the dole money on the pokies, but am watching the cricket now," says Drunk Aussie. I have nothing more add.

End of over 9 (3 runs) England 29/1
IJL Trott    14* (25b 2x4)      M Morkel    5-0-18-1
AN Cook    11* (28b 1x4)      VD Philander    4-0-10-0

9.1

Philander to Cook, no run, full outside off, Cook presses half forward and leaves

9.2

Philander to Cook, no run, gets a bigger stride into the ball this time and pushes square on the off side

9.3

Philander to Cook, no run, hangs back to this delivery and punches into the off side

9.4

Philander to Cook, 3 runs, lovely shot by Cook, that's classy batting as he stands tall and punches straight through mid-off from the back foot...mid-on beats mid-off to the chase

9.5

Philander to Trott, no run, good line just outside off but both these batsmen have shown good judgement this morning

9.6

Philander to Trott, no run, full outside off and left alone

"Uh-oh," starts Nick. "Philander's given runs is approaching his bowling average... Be ready to see another wicket soon."

End of over 10 (3 runs) England 32/1
IJL Trott    14* (27b 2x4)      VD Philander    5-0-13-0
AN Cook    14* (32b 1x4)      M Morkel    5-0-18-1

Here we go. Dale Steyn into the attack for the 11th over.

10.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, starts down the leg side, there's some swing though

10.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, gets his line right this time, starts around middle and off and comes back into Cook who is struck high on the pad...Steyn will like the look of that shape

10.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, full on off stump, there's that shape back to the left hander again but Cook pushes firmly towards mid-off

10.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, on off stump, Cook not getting forward and defends to the off side

10.5

Steyn to Cook, no run, a touch fuller and outside off which allows Cook to shoulder arms

"Battle royal already going on out there," says James. "Exactly as test cricket should be."

10.6

Steyn to Cook, FOUR, offered some width and Cook takes advantage as he cuts backward of square...it was in the air and Steyn finishes with hands on head but it was powerfully struck

And that's drinks on the first morning of the series. England have done well after the shock of losing Strauss in the first over. The bowling has been okay, but hasn't quite made the batsmen play enough. To take you to lunch it will be Alan.

End of over 11 (4 runs) England 36/1
AN Cook    18* (38b 2x4)      DW Steyn    1-0-4-0
IJL Trott    14* (27b 2x4)      VD Philander    5-0-13-0

Hello again. I was expecting Steyn to have made a mess of England's top order by now - but he's not even had a bowl! Must be due to his better record against right-handers.

Right, it'll be Tricky Vernon to continue from the Pavilion End

11.1

Philander to Trott, no run, length ball around the line of off, shapes in a touch, solid forward defensive

11.2

Philander to Trott, no run, pitched up and in the corridor, Trott hops back and across and lets the ball through

11.3

Philander to Trott, no run, bouncer, not the fiercest but it was banged in and Trott ducks

11.4

Philander to Trott, 1 run, touch short and wide of the stumps, chopped into the covers and they take one

11.5

Philander to Cook, 1 leg bye, on the stumps, pitching outside leg and clipping Cook's thigh pad, squirming away to de Villiers' right and they rotate again

11.6

Philander to Trott, no run, length ball, draws Trott outside the line and beats the edge - good delivery

Phil Mansell has a cunning plan: "Cook and Trott need to see off the pace bowlers, and then look to score off Tahir, he's the weakest link in this SA attack." Sounds easy!

End of over 12 (2 runs) England 38/1
IJL Trott    15* (32b 2x4)      VD Philander    6-0-14-0
AN Cook    18* (39b 2x4)      DW Steyn    1-0-4-0

12.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, length ball, across the left-hander, no stroke

12.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, tighter line to the stumps, coming back at Cook, who again elects to leave

12.3

Steyn to Cook, 2 runs, full and straight, looking for late movement, Cook leans over and clips through midwicket for a couple

12.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, let this one go through outside off

12.5

Steyn to Cook, 1 run, length ball on the stumps, stays back and glances through square leg

Smith goes and stands next to Trott, fiddling with his field. Trott carries on with his gardening at the crease

12.6

Steyn to Trott, no run, back of a length, defended outside the line of off

"The bowling is way below par," mutters Yogi. "They haven't bowled a maiden yet."

End of over 13 (3 runs) England 41/1
IJL Trott    15* (33b 2x4)      DW Steyn    2-0-7-0
AN Cook    21* (44b 2x4)      VD Philander    6-0-14-0

"Still Kallis to come," chirps James. "He may not have a great record in England, but he will surely go down as one of the all time great batting allrounders."

Yeah, but have you looked at his CV, James? Unemployable! He's into the attack now ...

13.1

Kallis to Cook, no run, length ball, on the stumps, defended back down the wicket

13.2

Kallis to Cook, FOUR, now that's a loosener - short and wide, Cook cuts hard, almost straining to reach the ball, thunking a boundary through point

13.3

Kallis to Cook, no run, tighter line, defended coming forward

Hint of rain in the air again ...

13.4

Kallis to Cook, no run, length ball, angled across, pushed to mid-off on the front foot

13.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, line and length from Kallis, who's looking reasonably brisk for an old codger, played in to the off side

13.6

Kallis to Cook, no run, touch shorter and Cook gets his bat out of the way

End of over 14 (4 runs) England 45/1
AN Cook    25* (50b 3x4)      JH Kallis    1-0-4-0
IJL Trott    15* (33b 2x4)      DW Steyn    2-0-7-0

"@Phil Mansell - Tahir is nailed on to take 6-40 with a selection of full tosses and long hops now," says Steve, the Voice of Pessimism we've all been waiting for. "I still can't for the life of me get used to the idea that England can play Test cricket."

14.1

Steyn to Trott, no run, length ball outside off, defended into the off side

14.2

Steyn to Trott, 1 run, good length, Trott gets across, pushes into a gap at cover with an angled bat

14.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and wide of the stumps, no movement back in the air and Cook leaves

Yes, yes - Smith, not Strauss. I hear you

14.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, round the wicket now, left alone outside off again

14.5

Steyn to Cook, no run, this one come back a long way, pitching well outside off, Cook plays no shot and de Villiers has to take it down the leg side

14.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, angled in towards the stumps, played towards midwicket

Here's Ricky Ponting PDTM: "SA better work out how to bowl to lefties soon, they have been poor so far. Australia couldn't get it right last Ashes, and it is painfully burnt in my memory what happened there."

End of over 15 (1 run) England 46/1
AN Cook    25* (54b 3x4)      DW Steyn    3-0-8-0
IJL Trott    16* (35b 2x4)      JH Kallis    1-0-4-0

15.1

Kallis to Trott, no run, swing for Kallis now, who lands a length delivery a foot or two outside off, the ball curving away as Trott watches it through diffidently

15.2

Kallis to Trott, no run, defended outside the line of off

15.3

Kallis to Trott, no run, bends his back to send down a booming bouncer - Trott flexes his quads and crouches underneath

15.4

Kallis to Trott, no run, a play and a miss this time, as Trott flirts with a length ball outside off

15.5

Kallis to Trott, FOUR, short and wide and Trott butters his bread with a crunchy cut through square of the wicket

15.6

Kallis to Trott, no run, length ball outside off, no stroke this time

England raise the half-century in the 16th over and, Strauss' departure aside, they have looked reasonably comfortable so far

End of over 16 (4 runs) England 50/1
IJL Trott    20* (41b 3x4)      JH Kallis    2-0-8-0
AN Cook    25* (54b 3x4)      DW Steyn    3-0-8-0

16.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, round the wicket, left alone outside off

16.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and slightly wide, the ball hoops back in but Cook is required to play at it

16.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, tighter to the stumps this time, defended on the back foot

Freddie has spotted a flaw in Phil's masterplan: "@Phil Mansell: Playing spin bowling is the weakest link in the English batting attack!"

Gully now in position for Cook, three slips as well

16.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and still too wide of the stumps to draw Cook into a stroke

16.5

Steyn to Cook, no run, angled in, good length and keeps a touch low, pushed into the leg side

16.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, stays back and defends around off stump towards cover

"Trott batting at a strike rate of 48+!!!" exclaims Nishank. "Ahh, this must be a belter of a pitch... Watch out for KP." England will hope no one has to watch out for KP for at least another session or two ...

End of over 17 (maiden) England 50/1
AN Cook    25* (60b 3x4)      DW Steyn    4-1-8-0
IJL Trott    20* (41b 3x4)      JH Kallis    2-0-8-0

17.1

Kallis to Trott, no run, length ball in the corridor outside off, no shot offered by Trott

17.2

Kallis to Trott, no run, line and length, the batsman leans out and watches it through again

17.3

Kallis to Trott, no run, nice shape on the ball from Kallis, but still a touch wide and Trott can leave all day (you can add your own punchline there)

17.4

Kallis to Trott, no run, pitched up a little more, on off stump, driven to mid-off

17.5

Kallis to Trott, FOUR, drops short and on to the body, the ball doesn't get up and Trott flicks through midwicket for four - he can do that all day too

17.6

Kallis to Trott, no run, length delivery, Trott lets this one go through outside off

Cook and Trott are performing the "security blanket" role for England once again ...

End of over 18 (4 runs) England 54/1
IJL Trott    24* (47b 4x4)      JH Kallis    3-0-12-0
AN Cook    25* (60b 3x4)      DW Steyn    4-1-8-0

18.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, angled in from wide of the crease, defended in front of the stumps

18.2

Steyn to Cook, 1 run, full and just outside the line of off - pushed into a gap at cover

Noticed that Steyn bowled the first maiden of the day just before. Long time coming

18.3

Steyn to Trott, no run, banged in short and Trott drops his hands, stays out of the way

18.4

Steyn to Trott, no run, length ball and this swings away from Trott, who opts not to follow it

18.5

Steyn to Trott, no run, another teasing swinger from Steyn, who's had to bowl a lot at Cook this morning. this one arcs away and Trott leaves again

18.6

Steyn to Trott, no run, tighter to the stumps, Trott covers up and plays with soft hands, dropping the ball towards point

End of over 19 (1 run) England 55/1
IJL Trott    24* (51b 4x4)      DW Steyn    5-1-9-0
AN Cook    26* (62b 3x4)      JH Kallis    3-0-12-0

"Smith not opening with Steyn possibly has something to do with the fact that both the English openers are lefties," observes Ajinkya. "Morkel bowls well to the left handers too, as the first over proved ..." But surely your best bowler - the world's No. 1 - always gets the new ball? Unless he's a spinner

19.1

Kallis to Cook, no run, length ball, pushed across the batsman, no stroke

19.2

Kallis to Cook, no run, line and length, nothing doing from Cook

19.3

Kallis to Cook, no run, speared across, Cook continues to be monkish in his self-denial

19.4

Kallis to Cook, no run, touch shorter and again the batsman doesn't offer a stroke

19.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, pushed through in the corridor, Cook scratches his nose and looks at his bat as if he doesn't know what it is for leaves

19.6

Kallis to Cook, no run, bat on ball at last, Cook slightly squared up and squeezing the ball low towards point off the toe of the bat

End of over 20 (maiden) England 55/1
AN Cook    26* (68b 3x4)      JH Kallis    4-1-12-0
IJL Trott    24* (51b 4x4)      DW Steyn    5-1-9-0

20.1

Steyn to Trott, no run, pitched up on off and holding its line, Trott chops down quickly in defence

20.2

Steyn to Trott, 5 leg byes, exuberant lbw appeal from Steyn, the ball squeaking down the leg side via Trott's pad ... and Morkel isn't backing up properly as de Villiers tries to throw down the non-striker's end, the ball running away to the rope - Steyn has a right face on!

20.3

Steyn to Cook, SIX, bumper from a fired-up Steyn and Cook top-edges a hook for six! As Shane Warne says on the Sky commentary, "that came off the middle of the edge". Steyn has to grin this time

20.4

Steyn to Cook, 1 run, pushed into the leg side off a good length for a single

20.5

Steyn to Trott, no run, a length ball outside off squeezes through via the front pad, de Villiers catches it - there was a noise but it was only pad and umpire Davis decides Trott had got outside the line of off

20.6

Steyn to Trott, 1 run, overpitched on the stumps and clipped wristily in front of square to the fielder in the deep

End of over 21 (13 runs) England 68/1
IJL Trott    25* (55b 4x4)      DW Steyn    6-1-17-0
AN Cook    33* (70b 3x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    4-1-12-0

21.1

Kallis to Trott, no run, defended on the front foot towards extra-cover

21.2

Kallis to Trott, no run, wild, wide short ball, veering down the leg side and de Villiers has to leap like a cat to take it

21.3

Kallis to Trott, no run, touch shorter, outside the line of off, pushed into the covers

21.4

Kallis to Trott, 1 run, too straight this time and Trott glances one through midwicket

21.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, length ball outside off and Cook roles out his leave again

21.6

Kallis to Cook, no run, no stroke to another good length delivery angled across - you might as well try and get a glacier to do a handbrake turn

"Okay, SA stop messing about now," grumbles Terry Smith. "Bring on the spinner. We know the poms love that." They do if he's named Xavier, Terry

End of over 22 (1 run) England 69/1
AN Cook    33* (72b 3x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    5-1-13-0
IJL Trott    26* (59b 4x4)      DW Steyn    6-1-17-0

And Terry's call is heard - Imran Tahir is on for a twirl before lunch

22.1

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, tossed up outside off and pushed into the cover region on the front foot

22.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, round the wicket, regulation legspinner coming back in, Cook stays back and defends

22.3

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, tossed up a bit more outside off, smothered in defence

22.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, full and wide, Cook thrusts his front pad out at it and deflects the ball away

22.5

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, shorter lenght, spinning back in, Cook jams his bat down on it

22.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, tossed up outside off and calmly pushed away by Cook - that's lunch and England's Nos. 2 and 3 have earned their lamb shank

1pm: Well, that was a remarkably placid session, following an early Morne alarm call for Andrew Strauss. Barring that first over, when Morkel attacked the stumps, South Africa have generally not made the batsmen play enough, and Cook and Trott are two utter gents when it come to ushering the ball through to the keeper. Let's see if Steyn and the boys can find their groove after lunch ... Gnasher's report will be in the slot shortly, and then Alex Winter will guide you through the post-prandial sparring.

End of over 23 (1 run) England 70/1
AN Cook    33* (77b 3x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    1-0-1-0
IJL Trott    27* (60b 4x4)      JH Kallis    5-1-13-0

It's going to be Vernon Philander to get us back underway, surprising?

Hello everyone, Alex Winter here, welcome back to live ball-by-ball coverage from The Oval. The sun has appeared and touch wood, we're set for a pleasant afternoon. Fabulous morning session, everything we were hoping for. Who can seize the initiative in this second second? England with a good platform...

23.1

Philander to Trott, no run, bowls on a length just outside the off stump and it's let through to the keeper

23.2

Philander to Trott, no run, similar ball but this time Trott plays and guides it to point

I always want my fast men back after an interval, even if just for a couple of overs, I would have gone straight to Steyn...

23.3

Philander to Trott, 1 no ball, wider and fuller, left but a no-ball

23.3

Philander to Trott, no run, full just outside off, foot back behind the line, blocked into the covers

23.4

Philander to Trott, no run, left again to a similar line

23.5

Philander to Trott, 2 runs, straighter and worked through midwicket, man out at deep square straight away cuts off the four but the first runs of the afternoon off the bat

23.6

Philander to Trott, no run, full and just wide of off stump, left

End of over 24 (3 runs) England 73/1
IJL Trott    29* (67b 4x4)      VD Philander    7-0-17-0
AN Cook    33* (77b 3x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    1-0-1-0

At least we do have Dale Steyn from the other end...

24.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, good start, length that jagged back and caught Cook just above the knee roll, probably outside off stump too, a brief appeal is quickly quietened

24.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, slightly wider ball that Cook blocks

24.3

Steyn to Cook, 2 leg byes, from around the wicket again, comes off the pads into the leg side and they charge back for two, superb running, mid on nor deep square could get there in time

24.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and wide, left alone outside off

24.5

Steyn to Cook, FOUR, full and Cook comes nicely forward and plays a delicious cover drive for four, eased away

24.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, wider now and left alone comfortably

End of over 25 (6 runs) England 79/1
AN Cook    37* (83b 4x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    7-1-21-0
IJL Trott    29* (67b 4x4)      VD Philander    7-0-17-0

Big Vern again...

25.1

Philander to Trott, no run, full just outside off, Trott forward to block

25.2

Philander to Trott, no run, mistimed pull into the leg side, probably too full

25.3

Philander to Trott, no run, Trott back to block back up the wicket

25.4

Philander to Trott, no run, blocked again into the on side

25.5

Philander to Trott, no run, bumper, not the sharpest, easily ducked under

25.6

Philander to Trott, no run, pushed to cover

A maiden...

End of over 26 (maiden) England 79/1
IJL Trott    29* (73b 4x4)      VD Philander    8-1-17-0
AN Cook    37* (83b 4x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    7-1-21-0

Steyn back over the wicket now...

26.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, angled across Cook, left alone

26.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, tighter to off stump, shape back into Cook too, but left alone again

26.3

Steyn to Cook, 2 leg byes, little too straight now and once again, a deflection off the pads into the on side brings a couple

26.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, back into the right area just outside off, again there is a slight tailing in as Cook leaves well

26.5

Steyn to Cook, no run, length just outside off, Cook standing tall and pushing to mid off

26.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, Cook leans out to block into the gully

Better over that from Steyn...

End of over 27 (2 runs, maiden) England 81/1
AN Cook    37* (89b 4x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    8-2-21-0
IJL Trott    29* (73b 4x4)      VD Philander    8-1-17-0

"Instead of England's batsmen being surprised by the pace of Steyn I am surprised by his lack of it so far today," You're maybe right Mike, he could be a little undercooked? Not much prep time before this series...

27.1

Philander to Trott, no run, left alone outside off

27.2

Philander to Trott, no run, fuller and a nice looking drive into the covers

27.3

Philander to Trott, FOUR, there's definitely a lack of pace from Philander and this shorter ball is easily pulled over midwicket, Trott was quickly into position and times it nicely

27.4

Philander to Trott, 1 no ball, this one is a better length and does shape away as Trott was a little squared up but another no-ball

27.4

Philander to Trott, 3 runs, back again to clip wide of mid on and they take three as Morkel goes back towards the boundary

27.5

Philander to Cook, 1 run, full and pushed into the on side for a single

27.6

Philander to Trott, no run, full and left alone outside off

End of over 28 (9 runs) England 90/1
IJL Trott    36* (79b 5x4)      VD Philander    9-1-26-0
AN Cook    38* (90b 4x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    8-2-21-0

28.1

Steyn to Cook, FOUR, too wide and too short, cut for four in Cook's favourite area that

28.2

Steyn to Cook, FOUR, oh shot! That is magnificent strokemaking. Back and punched with perfect timing back past the bowler, beautiful shot

28.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and too wide so left alone

28.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, full and left alone outside off again

28.5

Steyn to Cook, no run, back foot push back to the bowler

28.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, another wide ball is left alone outside off

End of over 29 (8 runs) England 98/1
AN Cook    46* (96b 6x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    9-2-29-0
IJL Trott    36* (79b 5x4)      VD Philander    9-1-26-0

"Anyone commenting on Steyn's Pace, or lack of it, obviously doesnt watch much cricket, Dale has gradually been winding down the pace and focusing more on accuracy and swing. Morkel has consistently bowled faster than him in the last 18 months." There you go guys! Sizwe has spoken...

29.1

Philander to Trott, no run, full and left alone outside off stump

29.2

Philander to Trott, no run, back of a length and pushed to point

29.3

Philander to Trott, no run, fine delivery, full to bring Trott out to drive, it shaped away and beat him, well bowled Vern

29.4

Philander to Trott, no run, beats him again, this time Trott feels for a back foot push and gets beaten

29.5

Philander to Trott, no run, length and Trott a little uneasy blocking to cover, walks away to leg to gather his thoughts

29.6

Philander to Trott, no run, pushed into the off side to end the over on a calmer note for the batsman

End of over 30 (maiden) England 98/1
IJL Trott    36* (85b 5x4)      VD Philander    10-2-26-0
AN Cook    46* (96b 6x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    9-2-29-0

A few comments about whether Steyn is properly fit. But Sid says: "Steyn always starts a series slow, he rarely hit the 140's when I watched him at University Oval, Dunedin earlier this year but at Hamilton a couple of weeks later he hardly ever went below 140." Maybe so. He's out of the attack now though and Imran Tahir comes on...

30.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, terrible long hop but Cook just pulls it to midwicket on the bounce

30.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, (no ball) FOUR, another long hop, and a no-ball, this time Cook gets it over midwicket for four

50 for Cook, excellent innings after a tricky start...

30.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, 2 runs, cut now and the cover sweeper comes round to field

30.3

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, blocked on the back foot

30.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, over the wicket now, skips through and Cook leaves it

30.5

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, full and blocked into cover

30.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, more flight and left outside off

End of over 31 (7 runs) England 105/1
AN Cook    52* (103b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    2-0-8-0
IJL Trott    36* (85b 5x4)      VD Philander    10-2-26-0

31.1

Philander to Trott, 1 run, driven to cover and Amla slips at cover and concedes a single

31.2

Philander to Cook, no run, tight to off stump and full, Cook a little late coming to drive into the covers

31.3

Philander to Cook, 1 run, comes forward to block just outside off

31.4

Philander to Trott, no run, good length and Trott well forward to block

31.5

Philander to Trott, no run, back of a length and pushed down to mid off

31.6

Philander to Trott, no run, Trott plays slightly across this full ball, pushed it to mid on

End of over 32 (2 runs) England 107/1
IJL Trott    37* (89b 5x4)      VD Philander    11-2-28-0
AN Cook    53* (105b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    2-0-8-0

32.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, floated onto off stump, Tahir forward and pushing back up the wicket

32.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, much wider and left alone

32.3

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, floated up more just outside off, left alone

32.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, left again outside off

32.5

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, once again wide enough to leave and no real spin at all

32.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, slider and pushed into the covers now

End of over 33 (1 run) England 108/1
AN Cook    54* (111b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    3-0-9-0
IJL Trott    37* (89b 5x4)      VD Philander    11-2-28-0

Morkel replacing Philander...

33.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

33.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, left again

33.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, full outside off and left alone again

33.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, better ball, tighter to off stump but wide enough to leave again

33.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, able to leave a full, wide one again

33.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, left again

Comfortably negotiated that first over of the afternoon from Morkel...

End of over 34 (maiden) England 108/1
AN Cook    54* (117b 7x4 1x6)      M Morkel    6-1-18-1
IJL Trott    37* (89b 5x4)      Imran Tahir    3-0-9-0

Tahir to the right hander now...

34.1

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, poor short ball that Trott swivel-pulls but can't find the rope only the deep backward square fielder

34.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, full and Cook goes from outside off to push through midwicket, with the spin

34.3

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, floated right up, clipped back to the bowler

34.4

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, middle and leg, Trott down to sweep to the deep fielder

34.5

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, floated up again and pushed to midwicket on the front foot

34.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, floated up on more of a length this time, blocked

End of over 35 (3 runs) England 111/1
AN Cook    55* (120b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    4-0-12-0
IJL Trott    39* (92b 5x4)      M Morkel    6-1-18-1

35.1

Morkel to Trott, 1 run, full and pushed towards mid on, pressure on the fielder and they get a single

35.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, very full outside off and dug into the covers

35.3

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, length and Cook plays with the angle off middle and off into midwicket, hands to his head from Morkel, nearly snuck one past Cook

35.4

Morkel to Trott, 2 runs, full drifting in, clipped wide of long on, Tahir fields then pirouettes before returning the throw

35.5

Morkel to Trott, no run, well left because it wasn't too far from off stump

35.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, left alone outside off

End of over 36 (4 runs) England 115/1
IJL Trott    42* (96b 5x4)      M Morkel    7-1-22-1
AN Cook    56* (122b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    4-0-12-0

36.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, around the wicket again now, floated outside off and blocked

36.2

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, slower outside off, waited for and blocked

36.3

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, quicker now outside off, pushed square on the off side

36.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 no ball, no-ball and a googly, pushed into the off side having watched the turn

36.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, full and clipped through midwicket

36.5

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, slider and it gets past Trott's forward push, in fact it didn't because there was a big inside edge

36.6

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, no edge on this one and it hits the pad, brief appeal and not out given, no review after a brief thought, was it in line? Wasn't too far away, hit in line and was taking plenty of leg stump, it was umpire's call though

End of over 37 (2 runs) England 117/1
IJL Trott    42* (98b 5x4)      Imran Tahir    5-0-14-0
AN Cook    57* (127b 7x4 1x6)      M Morkel    7-1-22-1

37.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, well wide of off stump and left alone

37.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, closer to off stump but left again

37.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, able to shoulder arms once more

37.4

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, angled in further towards the pads and Cook is able to tuck out through the off side

37.5

Morkel to Trott, no run, length outside off and left

37.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, left alone again

Nothing much happening for South Africa, England ticking along very nicely. The Saffers need something to change and as the players take drinks they'll look to regroup. There is at least a change for them here where Monty is coming back to take up the commentary, see you after tea...

End of over 38 (1 run) England 118/1
IJL Trott    42* (100b 5x4)      M Morkel    8-1-23-1
AN Cook    58* (131b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    5-0-14-0

Afternoon. So, Cook and Trott are knee-deep in their seventh century stand together and slowly, just as the world turns and these two bat, England are creeping into a healthy position ...

38.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, tossed up outside off, turned into the leg side for one

38.2

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, length ball, legspinner that pitches outside off, clips Trott's pad

38.3

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, flighted outside off, defended in the front foot

38.4

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, tossed up and defended on off

38.5

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, turned into the leg side from in front of the stumps

38.6

Imran Tahir to Trott, FOUR, drops short and swiped through square leg for four - Trott grinding towards his fifty too

End of over 39 (5 runs) England 123/1
IJL Trott    46* (105b 6x4)      Imran Tahir    6-0-19-0
AN Cook    59* (132b 7x4 1x6)      M Morkel    8-1-23-1

39.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, back of a length ball outside off, left alone

39.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, good length delivery, wide of the stumps, no stroke

39.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, length ball, shows it the face of the bat

39.4

Morkel to Cook, 1 no ball, Morkel strains to send down a yorker and Cook turns Kool and the Gang to Get Down On It - but Morkel had overstepped

39.4

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, drifts down the leg side and clipped through square

39.5

Morkel to Trott, no run, line and length in the corridor, Trott leaves it be

39.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, touch shorter, still wide of the timbers, no stroke offered

End of over 40 (2 runs) England 125/1
IJL Trott    46* (107b 6x4)      M Morkel    9-1-25-1
AN Cook    60* (137b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    6-0-19-0

40.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, round the wicket, wide of the stumps and coming back at Cook, who chops behind point

40.2

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, back over the wicket, flighted on off, pushed towards cover

40.3

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, tossed up on the stumps, punched back towards Tahir, who misfields and they get one

40.4

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, full and sliding down the leg side, prodded towards mid-on

40.5

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, Tahir spiders his way to the crease, running in front of the umpire, then tosses one up so far wide of off that Cook barely even glances at it

40.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, flighted, closer to the stumps this time, defended

End of over 41 (2 runs) England 127/1
AN Cook    61* (141b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    7-0-21-0
IJL Trott    47* (109b 6x4)      M Morkel    9-1-25-1

"Poor bowling from SA, either out side off stump or on legs where Cookie and Trotty are milking them," despairs Saeed Ahmed Lodhi. "SA will be looking at a huge, huge total if they dont change their line of attack!

41.1

Morkel to Trott, 1 run, short of a length, dabbed into the off side with some control off the back foot and they take one

41.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, round the wicket, pitched up outside off, pushed towards mid-off

41.3

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, goes short again, Cook is quickly into position to pull through square leg

41.4

Morkel to Trott, no run, played into the covers coming forward

41.5

Morkel to Trott, no run, towering bouncer and Trott gets down low as it sails by

41.6

Morkel to Trott, no run, short of a length, around off, goes back and across to chop the ball into the ground towards point

End of over 42 (2 runs) England 129/1
IJL Trott    48* (113b 6x4)      M Morkel    10-1-27-1
AN Cook    62* (143b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    7-0-21-0

42.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, flighted, outside the line of off, pushed on the front foot through extra-cover

42.2

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, this one stays a little low and Trott has to get his bat down sharply to defend in front of off

42.3

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, tossed up on the stumps, Trott gets forward in defence

42.4

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, full and flighted, clipped back to the bowler

42.5

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, drops short and gives a bit of width, which Trott uses to pat a single through point

42.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, 2 byes, wide of the stumps and spinning back, little bit of juice off the pitch and the ball goes through de Villiers' gloves as Cook leaves

"Everyone has a go at Trott and Cook, but this is a five-day game," says GP. "It was interesting to hear Sir Viv earlier this year on Trott: he defends the good balls and hits the bad ones. It's a simple game, played that way." And these two are absolute masters at it ... but it doesn't necessarily make them fun to watch

End of over 43 (4 runs) England 133/1
AN Cook    63* (145b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    8-0-23-0
IJL Trott    49* (117b 6x4)      M Morkel    10-1-27-1

Steyn has apparently had his ankle and elbow taped up and is back on for a spell

43.1

Steyn to Trott, no run, tight line, a few inches outside off, still Trott feels comfortable leaving

43.2

Steyn to Trott, no run, bit of movement away from the right-hander off a good length, no stroke again

43.3

Steyn to Trott, no run, slides down the leg side, brushes the pads and bobbles through to de Villiers

43.4

Steyn to Trott, no run, short of a length and wide, possibly cross-seam delivery, hacked to point on the bounce

43.5

Steyn to Trott, no run, bumper, weaving back in towards Trott at head height - so he wisely adjusts down and out of the way

43.6

Steyn to Trott, no run, fuller length, quick and straight in the margin of error outside off - Trott leaves

End of over 44 (maiden) England 133/1
IJL Trott    49* (123b 6x4)      DW Steyn    10-3-29-0
AN Cook    63* (145b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    8-0-23-0

44.1

Imran Tahir to Cook, 1 run, flighted around off, tickled down the ground to long-on

44.2

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, pushed through a bit quicker on the stumps, defended

44.3

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, big lunge forward to block a length ball around off

44.4

Imran Tahir to Trott, no run, tossed up and played into the off side

44.5

Imran Tahir to Trott, 1 run, short and wide of the stumps, goes back and chops through point - that's Trott's fifty, nothing elaborate but just what England needed

44.6

Imran Tahir to Cook, no run, full and on the stumps, clipped straight to short leg along the ground

End of over 45 (2 runs) England 135/1
AN Cook    64* (147b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    9-0-25-0
IJL Trott    50* (127b 6x4)      DW Steyn    10-3-29-0

Here's a timely comment from James: "Some of the SA bowling seems designed to test the batsmen's patience. I can tell you now, guys: Cook and Trott are not the players to try that on."

45.1

Steyn to Trott, no run, short of a length, Trott smoothly winds himself out of the way

45.2

Steyn to Trott, 2 runs, touch short and flicked off the hips through square leg for a couple

45.3

Steyn to Trott, FOUR, pitched up outside off, too full and there's no swing, Trott leans into a meaty cover drive and the ball tap-dances away to the rope

45.4

Steyn to Trott, no run, length ball outside the line of off, shuffles across and defends

45.5

Steyn to Trott, no run, another bumper, which Trott avoids

45.6

Steyn to Trott, 1 run, bit of width and Trott dabs another single through point

"It's pretty good fun to watch them if you're an England fan, and undoubtedly soul destroying if you're not. Isn't that the point of cricket?!" Well, Jordan, I'm sure you'll find more takers for watching Kevin Pietersen, for instance, among non-England fans. There is an aesthetic element to batting, after all

End of over 46 (7 runs) England 142/1
IJL Trott    57* (133b 7x4)      DW Steyn    11-3-36-0
AN Cook    64* (147b 7x4 1x6)      Imran Tahir    9-0-25-0

Something our of near leftfield from Smith, calling on JP Duminy's offspin

46.1

Duminy to Trott, 1 run, flat delivery outside off, tucked through point for a single to the sweeper on the boundary

46.2

Duminy to Cook, no run, flighted, right up in the blockhole, Cook keeps it out

46.3

Duminy to Cook, no run, full length again and tapped short of midwicket

46.4

Duminy to Cook, no run, flighted, sliding down leg and hits Cook on the boot

46.5

Duminy to Cook, no run, on the stumps, blocked back to the bowler

46.6

Duminy to Cook, 1 run, full and drifting down the leg side, flicked around the corner for one

Tidy first over from Duminy, but I don't think Cook or Trott will be too perturbed by him bowling for a bit

End of over 47 (2 runs) England 144/1
AN Cook    65* (152b 7x4 1x6)      JP Duminy    1-0-2-0
IJL Trott    58* (134b 7x4)      DW Steyn    11-3-36-0

47.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, snorter, angled across outside off, Cook leans back out of the way

47.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, now that's more like it from Steyn, he bowls a jaffer that Cook can only fence at, fair stripping the paint off the edge of the bat

47.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, fuller length and pushed towards cover

47.4

Steyn to Cook, no run, length ball outside off, the batsman gets forward and offers no stroke

47.5

Steyn to Cook, 1 run, quick and straight, clipped off the legs through midwicket

47.6

Steyn to Trott, no run, line and length outside the line of off, no stroke

End of over 48 (1 run) England 145/1
IJL Trott    58* (135b 7x4)      DW Steyn    12-3-37-0
AN Cook    66* (157b 7x4 1x6)      JP Duminy    1-0-2-0

48.1

Duminy to Cook, no run, round the wicket, tossed up on middle, defended into the leg side

48.2

Duminy to Cook, no run, flighted, tickled towards cover

48.3

Duminy to Cook, no run, full and turned into the leg side, Tahir does a bit of komical fielding

48.4

Duminy to Cook, no run, gives it a bit of air, solid forward defensive

48.5

Duminy to Cook, 1 run, bit too full this time, tapped back down the ground to long-on

48.6

Duminy to Trott, no run, tossed up on the stumps, driven back, Duminy fields

"Since the cricket is boring, and Graeme Smith is gonna celebrate 100 tests, let's have everyone send in there fave moments of Biff...," suggests Nathan. "Mine is definitely when he walked out to bat with a broken appendage against the Aussies. Showed the toughness and the fight." Edgbaston 2008 was immense, though it killed me

End of over 49 (1 run) England 146/1
IJL Trott    58* (136b 7x4)      JP Duminy    2-0-3-0
AN Cook    67* (162b 7x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    12-3-37-0

49.1

Steyn to Cook, no run, round the wicket, short and angling back in, dabbed to point

49.2

Steyn to Cook, no run, sliding down the leg side this time and Cook can't get any bat on it

49.3

Steyn to Cook, no run, another zinger down the leg side, de Villiers gets across to take the ball

49.4

Steyn to Cook, 1 run, short of a length, around off, churned through midwicket for one

49.5

Steyn to Trott, 1 run, bit of width and cut through point to the man in the deep

49.6

Steyn to Cook, no run, over the wicket, teasing line but the ball doesn't come back enough to make Cook play

"The commentator this afternoon clearly has no idea," says a cheery Steve Plowman. "Cricket fans enjoy watching quality players bat. Cook and Trott are quality players. Test match cricket is about performance so please, stop boring everyone with mindless chat about them being boring to watch." I'm boring now? I'm just doing my job, Steve, like Cookie and Trotty ...

End of over 50 (2 runs) England 148/1
AN Cook    68* (167b 7x4 1x6)      DW Steyn    13-3-39-0
IJL Trott    59* (137b 7x4)      JP Duminy    2-0-3-0
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150
Series Results
England v South Africa at Lord's - Aug 16-20, 2012
South Africa won by 51 runs
England v South Africa at Leeds - Aug 2-6, 2012
Match drawn
England v South Africa at The Oval - Jul 19-23, 2012
South Africa won by an innings and 12 runs
More results »

Match Coverage

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Jul 24, 2012

A full house enjoys the cricket, England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, July 23, 2012

A full house enjoys the cricket

© PA Photos

Jul 23, 2012

South Africa walk back after the innings victory, England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 5th day, July 23, 2012

South Africa walk back after the innings victory

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News and Analysis: England prepare to face South Africa without Pietersen