Vernon Philander treble leaves England reeling against SA
Vernon Philander continued his love affair with Lord's by taking three wickets as England struggled in Thursday's opening session of the first Test against South Africa.
England were 82 for four at lunch, with Philander having taken three wickets for 26 runs in eight overs. Joe Root, England's new Test captain, was 33 not out and Ben Stokes, his vice-captain, unbeaten on four.
Root perhaps encouraged by the blue skies overhead and Lord's reputation as a good batting pitch, opted to bat first after winning the toss. But a green-tinged pitch also gave the bowlers hope of early movement.
Alastair Cook in his first Test since resigning as England captain in February, had made just three when he flat-footedly chased a Philander delivery outside off stump and edged to wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.
South Africa-born Keaton Jennings, who played in the same Johannesburg school side as de Kock before opting for England, fell next on his home England debut.
Cook's fellow left-handed opener was lbw to Philander for eight after not getting that far forward.
S Ravi took his time before raising the finger, with England eventually opting against a review.
Replays, which showed the ball had just pitched outside leg stump, suggested a challenge might have seen the Indian umpire's decision overturned.
The 32-year-old Philander, fit following an ankle injury sustained while playing for English county side Sussex, had once again shown that an ability to move the ball both ways at a lively pace more than compensated for a lack of express pace. He'd now taken two wickets for three runs in eight balls to leave England 17 for two.
Philander's last Test at Lord's saw him return second- innings figures of five for 30 in a 51-run win that gave South Africa a 2-0 victory in a three-match series in 2012.
Root, meanwhile, was fortunate, when on five a top-edged hook off Kagiso Rabada just cleared substitute fielder Aiden Markram at long leg.