TOP SPIN ON THE TEST: England become first nation to pass 500,000-run mark whilst Faf Du Plessis has now lost the toss seven times in a row!
- The entire morning session at the Wanderers was wiped out by bad weather
- Zak Crawley (66) and Dom Sibley (44) worked on a fine first-wicket partnership
- England are the first nation to pass the 500,000-run mark in their 1,022nd Test
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley got England off to a fast start but South Africa fought back to leave the fourth Test in the balance on day one in Johannesburg.
The entire morning session at the Wanderers was wiped out by bad weather but when play was finally able to get going three hours and 20 minutes later, Crawley (66) and Sibley (44) set to work on a fine first-wicket partnership worth 107.
Sportsmail look at some of the numbers behind day one at the Wanderers Stadium…
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley posted a century stand for England on day one in Johannesburg
England became the first nation to pass the 500,000-run mark in their 1,022nd Test when Joe Root hit a single to move his side to 186 for four on Friday in Johannesburg.
Australia currently sit second (432,706 in 830 Tests) and India third (273,518 in 540).
England are chasing a first Test win with no frontline spinner in their line-up since the 2001 Ashes, when part-timers Mark Ramprakash and Usman Afzaal were the only tweakers available in a six-wicket win at Headingley.
Even Shane Warne only managed one wicket in 34.2 overs on that Leeds pitch.
Joe Denly was dropped on four by Pieter Malan and again on 25 by Dwaine Pretorius before Rassie van der Dussen clung on to remove the Kent man for 27.
Denly has been put down seven times in Tests since his debut in January 2019, more than any other player in that time.
Joe Denly was dropped on four by Pieter Malan and again on 25 by Dwaine Pretorius
Faf Du Plessis continued his woeful record at the toss, with his losing streak now up to seven. On the other side, Joe Root’s luck is very much in, winning all six tosses on this winter tour in New Zealand and South Africa.
With Du Plessis’s status as captain in serious doubt, Nasser Hussain’s Test record of 10 straight losses looks safe for the time being.
Beuran Hendricks became South Africa’s fifth Test debutant of the series on Friday and the left-armer is the youngest of the quintet — aged 29.
OPENING PAIR GET ENGLAND OFF TO FLIER
Crawley and Sibley ended England’s run of 72 innings without a century partnership for the first wicket with a 107-run stand.
The last time it had happened was Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook more than three years ago in Chennai in December 2016 — England’s longest stretch without a century opening stand.
Crawley and Sibley ended England’s run of 72 innings without a century partnership
11 years since England last got to 100 for none batting first in a Test — Cook and Andrew Strauss put on 196 against Australia at Lord’s in 2009.
Crawley and Sibley now average 53.25 as a pair in four innings together, the most profitable opening partnership of Root’s three years as captain.
Only Cook and Haseeb Hameed (67.60 in five innings) and Cook and Nick Compton (57.93 in 17) have been better in the last decade.
In the three years between 100-run opening stands in Tests, England had 13 in ODIs.
Crawley is the youngest Kent player to hit 50 in a Test for England. At 21 years and 355 days he beat Colin Cowdrey’s 66-year-old record by just six days.
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