• Rain and then bad light meant only 65.1 overs were possible on first day
  • England were 179-4 at stumps with Nick Compton unbeaten on 63
  • Compton shared a 125-run partnership with James Taylor (70)
  • Paceman Dale Steyn removed Taylor, Alex Hales and Alastair Cook

Jonny Singer for MailOnline

  • Jonny Singer

    Host commentator

So, Stokes has got England moving this morning, adding 17 of the 18 runs that have come in these first three overs.

Morkel looking to stem that flow of runs, and he is, in a manner of speaking, but the big man has just lost his line, firing one down leg before following it up with a delivery that is lucky not to be called a wide. And another, similar one next ball – really wayward.

Stokes happy to leave everything alone, so that’s a maiden, and time to hear some thoughts on mini-Segways from an ex-England great…

Yes, it was just a change of ends for Steyn, he is on to make it pace from both ends, with Compton still the man facing him. 

First ball he plays very nicely, angling the delivery down through to gully and scampering his first quick single of the day. Very nice, soft hands. 

Stokes now facing the quick man, and he decides to take the attack to Steyn, cutting firmly behind point for four.

A second boundary of the morning already, and it’s followed by a third next ball, back of the length but not quick enough to get up from Steyn, and Stokes rocks back and pulls over square leg for four more.

A drive to mid-off forces Hashim Amla into a tumbling stop, they run a single and that’s 10 from the over. 

This is interesting – it might be just to let Steyn change ends, but Morne Morkel comes on to bowl from the Old Fort Road end.

Second ball is quite wide outside off stump, and Stokes chases it, pushing at the ball, and, fortunately for him and England, getting nowhere near! 

Fourth ball of the over beats him as well, this is a little straighter and moves off the seam, beating the England all-rounder all ends up. Too good a delivery to nick! Three slips and a gully waiting in case he does, but, for now, Stokes survives, blocking and leaving the rest of the over, another maiden. 

As he did at the end of yesterday’s evening spell, Dane Piedt shares the ball with Steyn, bowling his off spin to Ben Stokes. 

The big man likes to go after the spinners, but he needs to be a little careful here – England need him to bat for a little while, not just blast a 20. He’s got the scoring going for the day though, pulling a poor ball over the in-field (just) for four.

Next ball he drives off the back foot into the off side, that’s two more, before a push to mid-off makes it seven from the over. Good start. 

As ever – it feels almost silly to have to tell you – Steyn hits his line and length from the very first ball of the day, forcing Compton to defend just outside off stump. 

And again. And again. And again – the fourth ball of the morning makes Compton work hard, too, perhaps a little extra pace, but he blocks it in the end. 

We start with five balls that complete a morning Maiden.

The players are on their way out, with Compton and Stokes following the fielding South Africans onto the field.

We finished yesterday, for bad light, one ball into the 66th over, which Dale Steyn had begun, so he will hurl down the first ball today, to Nick Compton…

Good morning from Durban where we have a much brighter morning for the second day of this first Test. In theory that should mean better conditions for batting and England certainly have some work to do if they are going to make their recovery of yesterday count.

They will need at least 300 I think to be happy with their position here, especially as you would think batting will be easiest on days two and three.

We are starting early today and will continue to do so so we should make up the time that was lost yesterday.

Big morning for Nick Compton. This is his home town, remember, and how he would love to mark his England comeback with a century here today.

Ben Stokes has looked terrific so far on this tour too and if he gets in he really could take this Test away from South Africa. But he simply must get through Dale Steyn’s early burst. The stage is set…

It was a cracking day of Test-match cricket yesterday, when we were playing – South Africa started brilliantly, before Nick Compton and James Taylor led the recovery.

The former is still at the crease, and with Ben Stokes alongside him, and a healthy lower order to follow, England will fancy that there are still a fair number of runs available. How many is enough, we will only know once both sides have batted. 

But a good morning session and England could be in complete control.

Rain yesterday meant we lost about 25 overs, so we’re beginning early this morning – in about 12 minutes in fact. 

We hope to make up some of the lost time, and given the slow-ish scoring rate, as well as the lack of overs, we might need it!

I hate to say it, but Christmas is now pretty much over – we’ve had the parties of Christmas Eve, the eating and drinking of the day itself, and now even the sporting bonanza that is Boxing Day.

Now it’s just a Sunday. But, fear not, there is still the cricket to keep you in the festive spirit, and England recovered to put themselves in a pretty handy position yesterday. How will they get on today?

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Join us for live over-by-over coverage of the opening day of the first Test between South Africa and England at Kingsmead in Durban. 

England recovered from a difficult start to set up a strong platform on a rain-interrupted first day of the first Test against South Africa.

Dale Steyn removed openers Alastair Cook and Alex Hales, before Joe Root fell to leave the tourists 49-3 and in trouble in Durban.

But Nick Compton (63 not out) and James Taylor (70) rescued their side with a brilliant partnership, although the latter fell to Steyn just before bad light brought the day’s play to a close with England a 179 for four.

JONNY SINGER will provide live text coverage from 7.00am with updates from our cricket correspondent PAUL NEWMAN in South Africa.

 

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