Cook cements England’s grip against SA

LONDON: Alastair Cook came through two reviewed appeals as England strengthened their grip on the first Test against a depleted South Africa attack at Lord’s on Saturday.
England were 48 without loss in their second innings at tea on the third day — an overall lead of 145 runs.
Cook, in his first Test since resigning as captain in February, was 31 not out and fellow left-handed opener Keaton Jennings 16 not out.
Vernon Philander had yet to bowl in the innings after going for an X-ray on a hand injury suffered when he was struck by James Anderson while making 52 in South Africa’s first innings 361 earlier on Saturday.
It was a worrying absence for the Proteas, who will definitely be without another member of their pace attack for next week’s second Test at Trent Bridge after Kagiso Rabada was banned from that match, as a result of a ‘totting-up’ punishment under the ICC code of conduct for verbally abusing England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Thursday’s first day at Lord’s.
Cook had made just one when given not out by umpire Paul Reiffel in response to Morne Morkel’s lbw appeal.
South Africa, with Dean Elgar captaining the side in the asbence of Faf du Plessis on paternity leave, reviewed. But replays confirmed the ball had pitched outside leg stump — something that seemed clear with the naked eve given Morkel was bowling from over the wicket to the left-handed Cook — and former Australia seamer Reiffel’s decision was upheld.
Cook had moved on to 12 when a delivery from left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj turned sharply into his pads. South Africa reviewed again but, with replays showing the ball had struck Cook outside the line of off-stump when he was trying to play a shot, Indian umpire S Ravi’s decision was upheld on this occasion.

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