Joe Root and James Taylor
Root and Taylor are unbeaten at the close to guide England into the ascendancy.Getty Images

England took complete command of the first Test against South Africa after surging into a 261-run lead after a dominant display on day three in Durban. Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali each took four wickets to bowl the hosts out for 214, before Joe Root's 13th half century of 2015 helped his side into an emphatic lead.

Root (60 not out) equalled the record set by Virender Sehwag in 2010 with another fifty, amid a partnership with James Taylor worth 53 for the fourth wicket. Nick Compton had earlier struck 49 as England cruised into a healthy lead, closing on 172 for 3.

The problems for South Africa grew were swelled by the loss of bowler Dale Steyn who suffered a should spasm during play and despite returning to the field following a scan, was withdrawn for a second time with uncertainty reigning over his participation during the remainder of the match. The Proteas will likely have to battle on, on day four without their premier fast bowler as they look to save a game which looks increasingly like to go the way of Alastair Cook's side.