Morris blinder gets Proteas going

Morne Morkel (Gallo Images)
Morne Morkel (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A sensational catch from debutant Chris Morris ensured that the Proteas had a wicket by lunch on the opening day of the second Test against England at Newlands. 

By the end of the first session England were 76/1, with Morris' one-handed blinder the only moment worth celebrating on what was a tough morning for the hosts.

The Proteas made three changes from the side that was battered in the first Test at Kingsmead. 

Dale Steyn (shoulder) and Kyle Abbott (hamstring) missed out through injury, while JP Duminy was dropped. 

Kagiso Rabada and Morris were the bowling replacements while Quinton de Kock made a popular return to the side to relieve AB de Villiers of the wicketkeeping duties. 

On a wicket that looked a touch dry but a good batting surface, Proteas captain Hashim Amla lost the toss and his counterpart Alastair Cook had no hesitation in batting first. 

England's only change saw a fit-again James Anderson return for Chris Woakes. 

The toss immediately looked a good one to win for England as Cook and Alex Hales cruised to 34/0 after 10 overs - the Proteas opening duo of Morne Morkel and Morris guilty of bowling too straight at times. 

There was more pace and bounce in the wicket than there was at Kingsmead, but that suited the English cause perfectly as they left on length regularly and worked the on side in the early overs. 

England brought up their 50 in the 15th over, and a packed Newlands started to wonder where that first wicket would come from. 

They had their answer just two overs later - and it came in the form of something special. 

A fullish delivery from Rabada had Cook driving outside off stump.

The ball flew towards the slips, where Morris - standing at third slip - launched himself to his left and took a quite stunning one-handed catch.

Cook (27) would have felt hard done by - the catch was that freakish - but South Africa now had something to show for what had been a largely uninspiring morning up until that point. 

Nick Compton (3*) joined Hales (38*) at the wicket, and the pair got to lunch untroubled.


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