The first day of the first Test between England and South Africa saw the hosts dominate a lacklustre Protean side, in this battle for the right to call oneself the best Test team in the world. After the first day's play, there were doubts over the visitors being able to find a way back into the game. There aren't any now. The South Africans fought back superbly in the morning, with pacer Dale Steyn leading the charge. At close of play on the second day, the Proteas are still trailing the hosts by 299 runs but they have nine wickets in hand and with conditions expected to be good for batting on Saturday, the match is very much in the balance.
England, who started the second day at 267/3, saw wickets fall at regular intervals throughout the morning. South African bowled with the intensity and aggression that was lacking on Thursday and limited the home side to 385. Morne Morkel finished with four wickets, while Steyn and Jacques Kallis earned two each and had it not been for Matt Prior's 60 to back up the ton that Alastair Cook scored on the first day, England would have found themselves in real trouble.
In reply, James Anderson struck early for England to dismiss the tourists' opener Alviro Pietersen but skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla displayed the sturdiness that characterises South Africa's top order and overcame a rain delay to close the game at 87/1. The Proteas will be the happier side after Friday's play and England know they have a fight on their hands in the battle to be the undisputed world number one.
It's even-steven at the moment but there are three more days to go. There will surely be a few twists and turns, like we saw on Friday. Andrew Strauss will be looking to pick up a couple of early wickets on Saturday and get back in the driving seat, while Smith and his fellow batsmen will be aiming for a first innings lead to give South Africa the edge.
Where to Watch Live:
You can follow the game live from 10.45 am BST on BBC Five Live Sports Extra.
England: A Strauss (c), A Cook, J Trott, K Pietersen, I Bell, R Bopara, M Prior (wk), T Bresnan, S Broad, G Swann, J Anderson
South Africa: G Smith (c), A Petersen, H Amla, J Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), J Rudolph, JP Duminy, V Philander, D Steyn, M Morkel, I Tahir
Umpires: Asad Rauf, Steve Davis