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Centurion Park Test: Captain Cook steadies England after De Kock ton

Last updated on: January 23, 2016 22:35 IST

England's Cook nears 10,000 Test runs

De Kock blasts maiden Test century

Alastair Cook

IMAGE: England's Alastair Cook, right, and Joe Root during Day two of the 4th Test at Supersport Park. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Alastair Cook posted his first half-century of the series with an unbeaten 67 as England closed day two of the final Test on 138 for two, still 337 runs behind South Africa at Centurion Park on Saturday.


Cook and Joe Root (31 not out) added 60 for the third wicket as England, who have won the series, look to get close to the hosts' first-innings total of 475 on a pitch starting to show variable bounce. Cook is 50 short of becoming the first England batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs.

Cook is 50 short of becoming the first England batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs. 

The touring side had lost opener Alex Hales (15) cheaply before tea when he guided a wide delivery from Kagiso Rabada to Dane Piedt at point for another soft dismissal. 

Nick Compton (19) became Rabada's second victim when he fell lbw to a delivery that never got more than a foot off the ground from good length, a sign of the wear in the pitch. 

Quinton de Kock

IMAGE: South Africa's Quinton de Kock celebrates his half century. Photograph: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock earlier reached his maiden Test century with a fluent unbeaten 129 from 128 balls before running out of partners as the home side posted a sizeable total. 

De Kock smashed 17 fours and two sixes in a showcase of his rich potential that was a mixture of finesse and a brutal attack on the bowling. 

After picking up the wickets of Temba Bavuma (35) and Rabada (0) early in the morning session, England may have expected to run through the South African tail. 

But a stand of 50 for the eighth wicket between De Kock and Kyle Abbott (16), and 82 for the ninth with Piedt (19), kept the touring side in the field until 40 minutes before tea. 

Frustration for the tourists was exacerbated by dropped catches, including two off De Kock. 

De Kock's century followed tons on the first day for Hashim Amla and debutant Stephen Cook, offering South Africa hope of a first Test win in more than 12 months. 

England all-rounder Ben Stokes continued his fine tour with bat and ball as he finished the South African innings with figures of 4-86. 

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