Joe Root plays a shot during his unbeaten innings of 60 off 86 balls © Getty Images
Joe Root plays a shot during his unbeaten innings of 60 off 86 balls © Getty Images

Joe Root and Ben Stokes put on a fiery, unbeaten 71-run stand for the fifth wicket as England recovered from early blows to reach 162 for four at tea on Day Two of the third Test against South Africa at Johannesburg. Root and Stokes were batting on 60 and 38 off 86 and 31 balls respectively, smashing the South African seamers all over the park during their in their partnership that has consumed 53 deliveries so far. England are currently in the driver’s seat ahead of the final session of the second day, with the pair looking to guide their side as close to South Africa’s first innings total of 313 as possible by the end of the day. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 3rd Test at Johannesburg, Day 2

England resumed from their score of 27 for the loss of two wickets at the start of the second session with Alastair Cook (18) and Alex Hales (1) having been sent back to the pavilion by Hardus Viljoen and Kagiso Rabada respectively. Nick Compton (26 off 68 balls) helped the visitors recover with a 52-run stand for the third wicket, with the former hitting four boundaries in his innings. Rabada managed to get the breakthrough by edging the delivery towards the slips, where Dean Elgar completed the catch. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 3rd Test at Johannesburg, Day 2

England’s miseries were extended further when James Taylor got an inside edge off a Morne Morkel delivery, that deflected off his thigh towards short-leg, where Temba Bavuma took a high leaping catch, fumbling for a second before finishing the job in the second attempt. At 91 for the loss of four wickets, South Africa appeared to hold a firm grip over England.

Root and Stokes however, began to hammer the South African bowlers within minutes of the fourth wicket, playing Twenty20 cricket in white clothes to wrest the control of the game back in their favour. Root brought up his 19th Test fifty in 77 deliveries. The South African attack were made to look ordinary, as their line and length faltered under pressure.

Brief scores:

South Africa 313 (Dean Elgar 46, Hashim Amla 40, AB de Villiers 36; Ben Stokes 3 for 53, Steven Finn 2 for 50, Ben Stokes 2 for 53) lead England 162 for 4 (Alastair Cook 18, Nick Compton 26, Joe Root 60*, Ben Stokes 38*; Kagiso Rabada 2 for 31) by 151 runs.

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)