It was a day of dominance for the fast bowlers – and not just with the ball – on the first day of the second under-19 Youth Test match between Coca-Cola South Africa and England at Boland Park, Paarl on Sunday.
An intriguing and fluctuating day of cricket saw South Africa make 228 all out and then England reply with 52/3.
At one stage the home side was 149/9 before Jan Frylinck and Kagiso Rabada sparked an inspirational fightback with a last-wicket stand of 79. The pair then took a wicket each when they shared the new ball.
Rabada was hugely impressive, beating and bowling one opening batsman with pace and hitting the other on the body. He might have had another bowled victim but for a no ball.
As for Frylinck, he has hardly played cricket in the last two months after suffering a hamstring injury and he was also mightily impressive.
England captain Oli Stone picked up a five-wicket haul as England dominated the morning session and at one stage had figures of 5/18 in 18 overs. Having also broken the back of the South African top order in the first Test at Sahara Park Newlands he has had an outstanding series to date.
South Africa had won the toss on what looked like a good day for batting but found themselves 8/4 at the end of the ninth over. By then Stone had taken three wickets for four runs in five overs, four of which were maidens. He had only conceded two scoring strokes in his opening over.
He set the tone by bowling Murray Coetzee with the second ball of the match and, with Gavin Griffiths, also taking a wicket, the home side found themselves in deep trouble.
Worse was to follow when captain Diego Rosier was unnecessarily run out. South African collapsed to 54 for six after 29 overs before the only remaining specialist batsman, Vassilli Orros, led a recovery with Vincent Moore in a partnership that added 91 invaluable runs in 29 overs.
As often happens, it took the part-time spin of Jonathan Tattersall to break the partnership after Orros had made 69 off 109 balls (11 fours). He impressed with his driving down the ground.
Moore fell immediately afterwards to give Stone a well-deserved fifth wicket. He had the remarkable figures of 5/18 in 18 overs.
At 149/9 the innings looked all but over. The last-wicket pair, however, of Jan Frylinck and Kagiso Rabada, both making their youth Test debuts, responded with a partnership of 79 at a rate of almost five to the over.
They caused the tea interval to be delayed by almost half-an-hour and got South Africa to a respectable 228 all out. It was a partnership of resilience, exuberance and no little skill by two players who looked a great deal better than a No. 10 and 11. The two left-handers took the attack to all the England bowlers, including Stone.
Frylinck excelled on the pull and cut while Rabada hit a succession of quality cover drives. He produced two of these off successive balls from the leg-spinner, Tattersall, and then deposited the next ball, a no ball, into the advertising board at deep midwicket.
The pair hit 11 fours and a six between them and gave South Africa good momentum, heading into a shortened last session of a minimum of 20 overs.
In spite of the late onslaught Stone still finished with outstanding figures of 5/31 in 21 overs.
Frylinck and Rabada carried on the good work when they opened the bowling, dismissing two batsmen quickly before England regrouped to reach 52/3 by the close.