The eagerly anticipated Test series between England and South Africa finally got underway at the Oval, on Thursday, with the hosts batting first and dominating the day's proceedings. The English posted 267 for the loss of three wickets by stumps on the first day, thanks to an unbeaten century by Alastair Cook.
The three-match series will determine the No 1 Test team in the world and both sides would have been looking for the early advantage. A morning setback aside, England look to well in control and on course to defend their crown as we head into the second day.
Day One Round-Up:
England won the toss and chose to bat but were rattled by the Proteas when Morne Morkel trapped skipper Andrew Strauss leg before, in the fourth delivery of the opening over, with nothing on the board. That was a massive blow to the hosts and a major boost for South Africa's confidence.
However, vice captain Cook (114 not out) and his disciplined batting at the top of the order - he formed solid partnerships with Jonathan Trott (71) and Kevin Pietersen (42) - established England's control over the game and as their confidence grew, South Africa seemed to run out of ideas. Cook saw the day out, comfortably, with Ian Bell.
The Essex star reached the 20th Test century of his career, drawing level with Ken Barrington, his mentor Graham Gooch and Kevin Pietersen in England's all-time list.
"It was very satisfying. When you come so close a few times - I think it's been a year since my last Test hundred - it makes it a very special moment. It's nice to join Goochie. Clearly he was a great player, and to have the same amount of hundreds as him is special," the BBC quoted Cook as saying.
England are well in control of the game at this point but Test cricket is a five-day spectacle and there will surely be a few twists and turns as the match progress. Graeme Smith will be looking to pick up a couple of early wickets on Friday to help South Africa swing things back in their favour. The Proteas are a strong side and they will capitalise if the hosts make any mistakes.
Where to Watch Live:
You can follow the game live from 10.45 am BST on BBC Five Live Sports Extra.