England took a firm grip of the first Test against South Africa after taking five first innings wickets on day two at Lord's. Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali took two scalps apiece to leave the Proteas on 214 for 5 at close, with James Anderson striking late to swing the initiative the way of the home side.
Joe Root had earlier top scored with 190 as England were bowled out for 458. The skipper added just six to his overnight total, but Ali (87) and Broad (57) put on 46 to steer them above 400 and help set a substantial figure. Morne Morkel was the main beneficiary as he finished with four for 114.
The momentum remained with England as South Africa set about regaining parity, with Heino Kuhn (1) dismissed in the sixth over as he edged Broad to Alastair Cook. Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla steadied the ship but the latter followed before tea when he was trapped plumb lbw by Ali, who was making the ball spin on an already dry surface at the home of cricket.
The final session saw England march into the ascendency. Captain Elgar (54) reached for spinning ball and was caught at short leg by Gary Ballance off Ali before JP Duminy (15) was dismissed by the potent Broad. South Africa dug in, however, and looked set to head into day three without any further losses as England tried desperately to produce reverse swing from the old ball.
But with 11 balls of the day remaining England struck for a fifth time to ensure they ended proceedings with the upper hand. Anderson manufactured some movement and found the edge of Theunis de Bruyn (48)'s bat to break a partnership worth 99. Temba Bavuma remains unbeaten also on 48 and with Quintin de Kock still to bat all is not lost for South Africa, however their hopes of leading after the first innings look bleak with a chasm of 244 runs to breach.
Ali, who became the fifth fastest player to 2000 runs and 100 wickets on day two, said: "I feel very grateful and blessed to be in those stats. If someone told me I was going to have these stats I'd have bitten their hand off. There's been loads of ups and downs.
"I'll still have bad days, I'm still inconsistent, but I'm happy with the way I bowled today. I've probably bowled a bit safe the last year or so, and today's the first day I went back to an attacking mindset. It's nice for Lord's to be spinning like this. We've got a lot of bowling to do still."