South Africa's Vernon Philander
South Africa's Vernon Philander in action against England at Supersport Park, Centurion. Image Credit: REUTERS

Centurion, South Africa: Vernon Philander led a relentless bowling performance as South Africa took a first innings lead of 103 runs on the second day of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park on Friday.

Philander took four for 16 in 14.2 overs as England were bowled out for 181.

Earlier, England needed just 11 balls to take South Africa’s final wicket. South Africa were bowled out for 284, adding seven runs to their overnight total of 277 for nine.

Philander scored all the runs before he was caught behind off Stuart Broad for 35. Both Broad and Sam Curran finished with figures of four for 58.

New pacemen Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius earlier took three quick wickets to reduce England to 157-6 at tea. Nortje bowled Jonny Bairstow for one and had Ben Stokes caught behind soon after, following Pretorius’ initial breakthrough just when England were looking to gain the upper hand in a game of see-sawing fortunes.

Joe Denly, who made 50, and Stokes had put on 72 runs for the fourth wicket and seen England settle in after they lost captain Joe Root not long after lunch.

But South Africa fought back with three wickets in the space of 17 balls, leaving England still 127 runs behind the hosts’ first innings total of 284. Jos Buttler (6) and Sam Curran (7) were not out at tea.

Root went in the third over of the second session, bringing Stokes to the crease, where he showed no ill effects from the dehydration that kept him off the field for part of the first day.

He hammered some lusty blows, including two successive sixes, allowing Denly, at the other end, to progress to a sixth test half century.

Denly, who was dropped in the slips before scoring and took 28 balls to get off the mark, made 50 off 108 balls before falling to the tiniest tickle as Pretorius grabbed a maiden test wicket but only after South Africa had asked for a review.

Then followed only a second Test wicket for Nortje, playing in his third Test, as he castled Bairstow and in his next over had Stokes caught behind for 35.

It was the fifth catch of the innings for wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who had caught Joe Burns and Dom Sibley in the first session before England reached 60-2 at lunch.