Erwee conquers body and mind to bat Proteas ahead at Lord's: 'I tried to stay in the moment'

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  • Proteas opener Sarel Erwee said keeping his mind on his core batting job was the toughest thing to do in the Lord's atmosphere.
  • Erwee's 73 underpinned South Africa 289/7 on the second day of the first Test at Lord's on Thursday.
  • Erwee isn't expecting the pitch to get any easier to bat on as the match progresses.

Proteas opener Sarel Erwee said one of his tougher tasks was to control the emotions of playing at Lord's on the second day of the first Test against England on Thursday.

Erwee, who was SA's top scorer with 73 from 146 balls in the total of 289/7, said staying in the moment while also enjoying it was one of his tougher tasks.

Erwee shared an 85-run opening stand with captain Dean Elgar as SA first whittled down England's total, from where they pushed on to a 124-run lead.

STUMPS | Positive Proteas play it smartly against wilting England to take control of 1st Test

Erwee said the pleasure of playing at Lord's meant focusing on the core batting job wasn't always easy.

"I do have moments where I look around and I say 'wow, this is what it feels like'," Erwee said.

"The space that I'm in and the time that I'm playing cricket for South Africa is when I'm trying to do my best as possible.

"I'm trying to stay in the moment and not think about other things that can fill my mind.

"When there are small breaks, I'll take time to look around and I'll get a fuzzy feeling that this is the home of cricket.

"I try to control my thoughts and my body as much as possible so that it doesn't overwhelm me because it's a special place."

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Sarel Erwee of South
Sarel Erwee. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Erwee's wicket was the fourth to fall as England staged a fightback through captain Ben Stokes.

Stokes's short-ball ploy worked as it got rid of Erwee, who fended a bumper to Ben Foakes while Rassie van der Dussen (19) was trapped in front while hanging on the back foot.

Erwee said he wasn't too hard on himself after being outfoxed by England's skipper.

"Some of the balls stuck in the wicket and some skidded through a touch. It was about trying to be aware as much as possible in terms of playing and then getting out of the way," he said. 

"I was a touch late in terms of getting out of the way, but it’s not a train smash. If you know what they're trying to do, you sometimes have a clear plan that doesn't always go to plan."

ANALYSIS | SA's bowling 'Boucherball' beats England 'Bazball' in Lord's first round

Erwee said the surface, with a touch of green along with a patch that was affected by a fungus that gave it a different colour, slowed down as the day progressed.

"Conditions got trickier as the day progressed as the pitch got two-paced as the match went on," Erwee said.

"Scoring got quite slow because, after the rain, the outfield became heavy, so you needed to take that out of your mind.

"One had to watch the ball for as long as possible and play it as intently as one could."

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