England reach 300 in 4th Sth African Test

Mark Gleeson
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South Africa England Cricket

England's Ollie Pope (pic) and Joe Root have both hit 50s in the fourth Test against South Africa

Captain Joe Root and prodigy Ollie Pope both hit half-centuries in a 100-run partnership to take England to 7-300 at lunch on Saturday's second day of the fourth Test against South Africa at The Wanderers.

Root scored 59 and Pope 56 as England moved quickly on from their overnight score of 4-192 before three quick wickets for Anrich Nortje slowed the march.

Pope continued to enhance his growing reputation and looked the senior batsman at times as he and Root went after the home bowling when play began after a 45-minute delay because of early morning rain.

The 22-year-old Pope, billed as a future Test star, brought up his third Test half-century off 61 balls before he played on to a delivery from Nortje.

Root was dropped by captain Faf du Plessis in Nortje's next over but it did not prove costly as the England skipper was out soon after, for the addition of five more runs, with a healthy edge off Nortje to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Sam Curran followed next ball, swinging wildly at the first delivery he faced, getting an edge behind to de Kock.

It meant England had lost 3-11 in a fiery Nortje spell which offered renewed hope for the home side, down 2-1 in the series.

Nortje has been the most expensive of the Proteas' bowlers with 4-93 off 19 overs.

Jos Buttler (16) and Chris Woakes (19) were not out at lunch. They will face the second new ball at the start of the afternoon session.

England were still waiting on Saturday to hear whether there would be any action taken against allrounder Ben Stokes after Friday's foul-mouthed altercation with a spectator which was caught on television.

He faces being charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a level-one offence for the "use of an audible obscenity" and the possibility of being fined and given a demerit point.