England closed the opening day’s play of the 1st Investec Test at The Oval in London at a healthy 267 for 3. Batting first after winning the toss under overcast conditions, England lost Skipper Andrew Strauss in the fourth ball of the Test Match when he was dismissed for a duck by Morne Morkel. Strauss was given lbw after a successful review taken by the Proteas with the left hander falling across his stumps in a flick shot to a delivery that had nipped back.
After Strauss’ exit, it was all England as the hosts saw through the morning and the afternoon sessions without losing any other wicket. Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott batted with utmost discipline by leaving most of the deliveries outside off to grind the Proteas’ attack. Trott was eventually out when he edged his drive on the up off Morne Morkel to South Africa’s new Wicket Keeper AB de Villiers in the 58th over to end a 170-run stand for the 2nd wicket. Jonathan Trott scored 71 from 162 balls with 9 fours.
Alastair Cook got another partnership blossoming for England with Kevin Pietersen as the pitch looked absolutely flat with hardly any pace and real bounce. Pietersen collected 42 from 72 balls with 4 fours before he was caught behind off the glove in an attempted pull off Jacques Kallis. KP had added 81 runs with Cook to take England to 251 for 3.
During the fag end of the day’s play, Ian Bell (10* from 29 balls with 2 fours) joined Alastair Cook (114* from 283 balls with 11 fours and a six) to see off the second new ball to take England to 267 for 3. For the 27-year-old Cook, it was already a 20th Test century ever since making his Test Debut in 2006.