One of the big surprises of the afternoon, when England were put in a great position to win the second Test against South Africa with centuries from Ben Stokes and Ben Fox, was that Proteas captain Dean Elgar did not rely more on fast bowler Henrich North is. Old Trafford on Friday.

The explosive paceman required three wickets to fall as Stokes and Fawkes combined for a tough 147/5, but Nortje had just eight balls against the pair at the start of their partnership before understandably there was a break. But, much to the batsmen’s delight, he did not appear for 30 overs, by which time their partnership was worth 92. Nortje’s failure to use it in the first 35 minutes of the afternoon was particularly surprising.

But after the second day of play, the 28-year-old said he was happy with captain Dean Elgar’s plans and that it was just a great batting ground. South Africa will surely be hoping for that as they enter day three with a deficit of 241 runs.

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“It was a really good wicket and I don’t think you need to get too deep into who bowled when and from which side,” Northier said. “Obviously it was a much drier pitch compared to Lord’s.

“So we had to go 100% according to the conditions and Dean had a plan according to what the situation told him. I had a decent job on both sides.

“We had to go with the conditions and use spinners from both ends at times. And as the ball got bigger, bowling became even more difficult. But we threw our best balls and they hit really well,” Nortier said.

Birthday gifts

Although many onlookers believed that Elgar had given Stokes and Fox early birthday presents by not allowing Nortier or even Kagis Rabaud to join them immediately after lunch, Nortier praised the duo for their discipline and determination at the crease as they added a score of 173 in the sixth over. gate.

“When they first came it was definitely a key period of the day, it was a key time after we got the wickets in the morning. We tried to keep that pressure, it was the perfect period to try to get more sticks.

“Early in the day it seemed like there were a lot of opportunities, balls not hitting the bat here and there, and we were really feeling it. But they absorbed the pressure really well, a few things went their way and they turned the momentum around,” Nortier said.

Also Read: Proteas skipper Rabada puts in a valiant effort with bat and ball

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