Toby Roland-Jones shines on Test debut as England dominate South Africa

Alastair Cook's innings fell 12 runs short of a century as he was trapped lbw by Morne Morkel

Ben Stokes struck a belligerent century on day two of the third test against South Africa, guiding England to a respectable first innings total of 353 on Friday (Saturday NZ Time).

South Africa, minus key seamer Vernon Philander after just five early overs because of a mystery stomach upset which has resulted in hospital checks, had bowled well at times but also inconsistently.

Three overpitched deliveries in one over from Morris disappeared to the boundary and the left-arm spinner, Maharaj, conceded three more against Jonny Bairstow, one of them an advance to drive down the ground, a typically defiant repeat of the shot that caused his downfall at Trent Bridge.

The right-hander fell straight after the resumption, though, as he hit slightly across a full, swinging delivery from Chris Morris to be caught at slip.

Rain curtailed an action-packed opening day, leaving the hosts at 171/4 when early stumps was called with only 59 overs bowled in the day.

Moeen Ali and Roland-Jones added valuable runs and were able to witness another Stokes blitz in an innings that included nine fours and four sixes.

Roland-Jones (25) and Stuart Broad (3) were out in quick succession, and with the last man James Anderson at the crease, Stokes opened his shoulders to power his way to a century. At the close, South Africa were 126 for eight, still needing a further 30 runs to avoid the follow-on.

As for the two batting debutants in this match, there were mixed starts for Westley and Malan.

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Cook's performance was the antithesis of England's collective batting approach in the second Test, which drew stinging criticism from a host of ex-captains, and was welcomed by global rookie Westley. 'It's a bit mixed emotions I suppose.

"I found out last Thursday (that he would be batting at three) so the weekend was pretty hectic and nerves were going insane up until then but the last couple of days, practising, meeting the guys, has actually been good and helpful".

In some ways, I feel sorry for him, because he is being thrust out to open the batting after only being given a diet of Division Two bowling in the County Championship - and even then he hasn't made many runs for Durham.

Westley on Alastair Cook's contribution: "I've always thought he was good!"

He said: "Cookie being Cookie, he fought through it - and it's one of his best qualities". He works hard for his runs and he's determined.

Rabada let him have a single and then produced a flawless inswinging yorker that knocked Malan off his feet and his middle stump out of the ground. Just don't swear, but be yourself. It's whether I can do it at Test level I don't want to look too far into the future.

Rabada said: "Obviously [the ban] was disappointing but, if it wasn't, that shows you don't care".

He reminded me of John Crawley, formerly of England, Lancashire and Hampshire, with the way he whipped the ball through mid-wicket using his bottom hand. "I'm not the main guy of the team".

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