James Taylor hit 70 as he and Nick Compton helped England recover from 49 for three to reach 179 for four at stumps. Nick Compton and James Taylor, both seeking to re-establish themselves at Test level, hit half-centuries and dug England out of trouble on a rain-hit first day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday. England were 179 for four at the close of play after being sent in to bat. Fast bowler Dale Steyn spoiled a good recovery by the tourists when he struck shortly before the close, having Taylor caught behind for 70, ending a partnership of 125 off 274 balls. Taylor, hitting a second half-century in successive matches after returning to the side after a three-year absence, said it had been a good day for England in overcast conditions which he said suited the South African bowlers. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 1st Test at Durban

I thought it was a pretty solid day for England, said Taylor, who praised the application of Compton after the pair came together with their side struggling on 49 for three. Taylor fell in fading light shortly before the close, capping a fine comeback from injury by Steyn, who took three for 29. Compton and Taylor batted solidly on a slow pitch which did not offer the bowlers as much assistance as South African captain Hashim Amla might have hoped when he won the toss and sent England in to bat in overcast conditions. Compton, returning to the city of his birth and early upbringing, was resolute and almost strokeless at times in his first Test match in more than two years. He made 63 not out off 179 balls, with four boundaries.

(With inputs from AFP)