Nick Compton and James Taylor
Compton and Taylor put on 125 for the fourth wicket to give England the advantage. Getty Images

Nick Compton and James Taylor produced a fine rearguard to frustrate South Africa as England took a share of the spoils on day one of the first Test in Durban. A combination of the pair's 125-run partnership and numerous interruptions for rain kept the hosts at bay after Dale Steyn dismissed captain Alastair Cook in the first hour.

Conditions for batting are expected to improve as the game progresses and though the tourists were unable to make significant progress, they will be content with how they denied Steyn and Morne Morkel. Four wickets did fall however as England were reduced to 49 for 3 but South Africa were unable to convert the position.

Cook (0) was ousted in the third over after edging to Dean Elgar at second slip and after a rain delay debutant Alex Hales (10) followed after a slash at a wide Steyn delivery. Joe Root (24) hung around but a huge spinning delivery from Dane Piedt trapped him lbw.

But with England on the precipice Compton (63 not out) - playing his first Test for two-and-a-half years - and Taylor soaked up plenty of punishment and pressure to give Cook's side the upper-hand heading into day two. Taylor (70) was dismissed by the tireless Steyn with nine balls remaining but that did little to take the gloss off the visitors' performance.