England’s Sam Curran takes four but De Kock’s 95 rallies South Africa

• First Test day one: South Africa 277-9 v England • Jimmy Anderson strikes with opening ball of four-Test seriesIt was a day of baby-faced aggressors at Centurion. An innings of joyous abandon and 95 runs from South Africa’s Quinton de Kock did little for the health of England’s bowling attack. It was as if De Kock, who seldom looks as if he has been on the planet for 27 years, had been so thrilled with a brand new bat for Christmas he was going to play every shot in the book with it – as well as one or two never seen in the manuals.For England Sam Curran, cherubic in appearance yet fiercely competitive in action, was invaluable to Joe Root. On his best day as an international bowler he finished with career-best figures of four for 57 .There was enough zip in the wicket and in Curran’s bowling for the edges to carry. The notional fourth seamer became Root’s main man. As a consequence England were able to restrict South Africa to 277 for nine after sending them into bat. Continue reading…