England vs South Africa LIVE: Cricket score from first Test at Lord’s as play abandoned due to rain

·38 min read

England’s Test cricket revolution continues with the first of a three-match series against South Africa getting underway at Lord’s this morning.

It’s been a wild start to life under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes with a new fearless brand of cricket – labelled “Bazball” after their new coach – helping today’s hosts stop the rot after languishing during a run of just one victory in 17 Tests. Momentum seized, England secured memorable win after memorable win this summer and now face another tough test in the shape of the Proteas, who sit top of the World Test Championship table.

England went in with just one change from the side that stunned India last time out with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes returning after a bout of Covid in place of Sam Billings. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts made up the pace attack with Ollie Robinson, who hasn’t played for his country since the final match of the Ashes in January, kept waiting for a recall. In-form Yorkshire batter Harry Brook also missed out.

Follow the latest score and over-by-over updates from the first Test below.

England vs South Africa - Day One, first Test, Lord’s

  • South Africa win toss and captain Dean Elgar elects to bowl first

  • Play abandoned due to rain, end of Day One

  • Rain stops play in the afternoon session, early tea taken

  • Wicket! Foakes 6, b Nortje. England 116-6

  • Wicket! Stokes 20, c Petersen b Nortje. England 100-5

  • Wicket! Bairstow 0, b Nortje. England 55-4

  • Wicket! Root 8, lbw b Jansen. England 42-3

  • Wicket! Crawley 9, c Markram b Rabada. England 25-2

  • Wicket! Alex Lees 5, c Verreynne b Rabada. England 6-1

Stumps: Day one ends early due to rain

16:38 , Michael Jones

The first day of the opening test match between England and South Africa has been called off due to rain. It was only a matter of time and word has come through that there will be no more play today.

 (PA)
(PA)

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

16:25 , Michael Jones

Blasphemous thoughts from the infamous George Dobell or a good idea to pursue?

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

16:14 , Michael Jones

A bit more history making from Jimmy Anderson.

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

15:47 , Michael Jones

Tea has come, tea has gone, the rain remains.

It may have settled in for the day now and that could be that for play on day one. We’ll keep updating if there’s any changes but for now it’s a waiting game.

Tea: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

15:35 , Michael Jones

Here are a few snaps from earlier in the day. It was tricky to find some without South Africa celebrating in them.

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 (PA)
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Tea: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

15:27 , Michael Jones

So, 116-6 at tea in testing conditions but with a batter set in Ollie Pope. What do England target from here for a first innings total? Get as close to 200 as possible? 250?

Even the most optimistic Bazball enthusiasts must think 300 is well beyond them. What will Brendan McCullum and Ben Stokes be saying to the batters yet come?

By the way those are Jack Leach, Matt Potts and James Anderson.

Tea: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

15:20 , Michael Jones

It’s pretty grim out there. The covers are firmly on the ground and the rain doesn’t look likely to move anytime soon.

 (PA)
(PA)
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(Getty Images)

Tea: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

15:11 , Michael Jones

The rain continues to pour so their has been an early tea taken in order to cut down the time taken out off the game due to the rain. The players won’t be out until half past three at least but the weather has set in and it will probably still be raining in 20 minutes time.

Lord’s to turn red for Ruth Strauss Foundation on day two of England vs South Africa

15:08 , Michael Jones

Lord’s turns ‘Red for Ruth’ on Thursday in recognition of the Ruth Strauss Foundation.

The former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss’s wife died from lung cancer in December 2018, aged 46. Strauss, whose two sons Sam and Luca were young children at the time of Ruth’s illness and death, has since set up the foundation to support families as they prepare for grief and bereavement.

Red for Ruth has become an annual event in which players wear bright red caps and blazers and the home of cricket is transformed in colour, with spectactors encouraged to wear red too. This summer it falls on the second day of England’s first Test match with South Africa, the start of a three-match series.

England vs South Africa: Lord’s to turn red for Ruth Strauss Foundation

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:57 , Michael Jones

Former England bowler and Ashes winner, Chris Tremlett, has had his say on Zak Crawley and is in favour of replacing him at the top of the order - just to take him out of the spotlight after a terrible run of form.

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:50 , Michael Jones

There’s thunder and lightning over Lords now. Remember this when the next test match is taking place at Old Trafford next week.

If it was gloomy out there before the rain break, it’s now bleak.

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:44 , Michael Jones

No sign of the covers coming off at the ground and the weather forecast isn’t exactly encouraging. During this break Ian Ward, Michael Atherton and Andrew Strauss are having an in depth discussion on the future on cricket in England & Wales.

It’s a very interesting conversation with Strauss in particular explaining how his high performance review is attempting to provide solutions for such divisive issues like County Championship scheduling, franchise cricket and how to help England become the best team in the world.

Ollie Pope helps England recover from rocky start as South Africa strike early

14:38 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope guided England out of trouble after they fell back into familiar patterns with the loss of early wickets on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s.

The 24-year-old brought up his half-century just before lunch having played positively and looked for any opportunities to score, going into the break unbeaten on 51 and with England on 100 for five.

Pope had to remedy a dismal situation after England slipped to 55 for four, including the loss of Jonny Bairstow for a duck, with Ben Stokes caught just on the stroke of lunch.

Ollie Pope helps England recover from rocky start as South Africa strike early

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:32 , Michael Jones

Just the one wicket to fall since lunch. That of Ben Foakes for six. Anrich Nortje was just too good on this occasion.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)
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(Getty Images)

Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:26 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope continued his nice innings after lunch with a flurry of drives, cuts and pulls. He holds the key for England now, a big score for Pope will mean a big score for England.

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Rain break: England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:17 , Michael Jones

Apart from a couple of flutters outside his off-stump Ollie Pope picked up where he left off this morning and worked the ball around the ground to collect an additional 10 runs since lunch.

Ben Foakes came and went after a full, sharp delivery from Anrich Nortje found a gap between bat and pad to rearrange the stumps.

The covers have come out and play doesn’t look likely to resume anytime soon.

Rain stops play! England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:11 , Michael Jones

Stuart Broad has pulled that off brilliantly. A couple of words with the umpire about the weather conditions in between overs sees them start looking up at the sky,

The rain starts to fall and the decision to bring the players off is taken.

It was quite gloomy out there and Broad in particular will be pleased that he doesn’t have to face any short bowling for a while.

England 116-6, Pope 61, Broad 0; South Africa yet to bat

14:08 , Michael Jones

32nd over: Stuart Broad is the new man at the crease. He sees out the final two deliveries of Nortje’s over but takes a short ball to the chest for his efforts.

He’ll be expecting a few more of these before his innings is done.

Broad isn’t known for hanging around long so expect some fireworks to come sooner rather than later.

Wicket! Foakes 6, b Nortje. England 116-6

14:05 , Michael Jones

Ben Foakes has gone! In the gloomy light Anrich Nortje sends down a quick delivery and gets the ball to nip back into the batter. Foakes gets an inside edge on the ball but can’t keep it out and the stumps shatter to pieces.

England 116-5, Pope 61, Foakes 6; South Africa yet to bat

14:01 , Michael Jones

31st over: The conditions for batting are far from ideal. It’s cloudy, grey and a bit muggy. Pope is seeing the ball well though and pulls Rabada into the leg-side for two.

There’s almost a run out opportunity but Pope sends Foakes quickly back into the crease and the danger passes. That’s the last thing England would want right now.

England 114-5, Pope 59, Foakes 6; South Africa yet to bat

13:57 , Michael Jones

30th over: Foakes flicks Nortje away to fine leg for a single after the paceman strays down the leg side. A wide short ball then draws Pope into a wild cut shot that he misses out on.

This might be a tactic from South Africa. Nortje fizzes down a bouncer to Pope who awkwardly hooks it into the gap at square-leg for one.

It’s a definite tactic. Two sharp short balls to Foakes ends the over with the batter ducking under the last delivery.

England 112-5, Pope 58, Foakes 5; South Africa yet to bat

13:53 , Michael Jones

29th over: Pope collects another couple and England continue to tick away, slowly accummulating runs.

Rabada gets one to hold it’s line with a delivery just wide of the off-stump and Pope dangles his bat out there and is lucky to avoid nicking one. He knows it was a loose shot and has a word with himself to concentrate.

The last delivery of the over sees Pope rock back and cut the ball away. A fumble in the gully region brings him another two and England earn four from the over.

England 108-5, Pope 54, Foakes 5; South Africa yet to bat

13:50 , Michael Jones

28th over: Anrich Nortje is given the nod to open up from the other end and teases Foakes with a couple of balls wide of the off-stump.

Nice! Ben Foakes leans over to the offside and punches a stroke through midwicket for his first boundary of the innings. That’s a confident shot from England’s no. 7.

Afternoon session: England 104-5, Pope 54, Foakes 1; South Africa yet to bat

13:44 , Michael Jones

27th over: Ollie Pope dinks a forward defensive into the offside and kicks off the morning session with a single. Ben Stokes was dismissed on the final day of the morning session so England’s wicketkeeper, Ben Foakes, has joined Pope at the crease.

Kagiso Rabada gets the ball to move a touch off the seam and angles a couple into the pads of Foakes. An inside edge onto the pads brings Foakes his first run and Pope endes the over with a nice punch through cover point for a couple.

Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:36 , Michael Jones

Lots of talk in the build-up to today’s play was about ‘Bazball’ and England’s new found aggressive style of play.

Since Brendan McCullum and Ben Stokes took over the leadership of the test team England have won each of the four tests they’ve played ending a run of one in from their last 17 matches.

All four of those wins have seen England chase down scores in the fourth innings of the game but with South Africa winning the toss this morning they were faced with a new challenge.

How to remain aggressive and imposing whilst setting a first innings total?

Their efforts have been hit-and-miss. 100-5 at lunch isn’t great but Ollie Pope has looked solid and if he can form a partnership with Ben Foakes this afternoon England could still turn things around.

Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:33 , Michael Jones

And here’s how Pope brought up his fifty.

Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:29 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope goes into lunch with a nicely worked half-century to his name. He’s going to need to double it and then some if England are going to set a decent first innings total.

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Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:23 , Michael Jones

Alex Lees was the first to fall this morning after poor footwork saw him attempt to drive a back of the length delivery that he feathered behind.

Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:18 , Michael Jones

One of the main talking points from this morning’s session will of course be Zak Crawley’s innings. His woeful run of form continues after nicking off against Kagiso Rabado for just nine runs off 23 balls.

How long will England persist with the opener before making a switch at the top of the order?

 (PA)
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Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:14 , Michael Jones

It was a tough morning for England with the ball moving sharply through the air and South Africa hitting them with pace and consistently good lines and lengths.

All four of the pace bowlers were threatening and, apart from Ollie Pope who was gifted a couple of lifelines, England had no answer.

The first session certainly goes to the visitors.

Lunch: England 100-5, Pope 51; South Africa yet to bat

13:10 , Lawrence Ostlere

A disappointing end to a difficult morning session for England. They had hoped to bowl first but it is South Africa who have taken advantage of the conditions after winning the toss, and they’ve done so impressively, with Kagiso Rabada making early inroads and Marco Jansen then finding wild swing to take the key wicket of Joe Root. Anrich Nortje’s pace did for Jonny Bairstow and his capture of Ben Stokes with the final ball before lunch has given the scoreboard a nice look for the South Africans.

England’s only positive is the performance of Ollie Pope, who has survived a couple of hairy moments but has played positively and scored an important half-century while those around him have faltered. Pope is going to need to go on and make three figures if England are to post a decent score, with only Ben Foakes and the bowlers to come.

Wicket! Stokes 20, c Petersen b Nortje. England 100-5

13:04 , Lawrence Ostlere

26th over: First Pope almost goes at the start of the over, flashing at a wide one which almost picks out Keegan Petersen at third slip, but the fielder can only get a fingertip on the ball and it races away for two. A tough one, but Petersen might have got there had he shifted his weight to his right earlier. With the very next ball Pope swats Nortje away for four and that’s his half century. An excellent knock, and Pope at three is proving one of the best finds from England’s summer.

But Stokes almost gives up his wicket with a slash over the slips, and with the final ball before lunch Nortje ties the captain up with a straight ball and finds a thick edge which pops up for Petersen to take easily this time. Nortje celebrates wildly, that caps a great session for the tourists.

England 89-4, Pope 45 Stokes 16; South Africa yet to bat

12:58 , Lawrence Ostlere

25th over: Stokes stands and delivers, clattering a drive through extra cover for four. Rabada’s final ball brings an impressive stop from Kyle Verreynne behind the stumps.

England 85-4, Pope 45 Stokes 12; South Africa yet to bat

12:55 , Lawrence Ostlere

24th over: Nortje is now bowling from the Pavilion End where he looks a little more comfortable. Pope continues to take the game to the South African quick though, whipping through backward square for two. Pope is closing in on his half century, and I’m sure he’ll want to get there before lunch.

England 82-4, Pope 43 Stokes 11; South Africa yet to bat

12:50 , Lawrence Ostlere

23rd over: Rabada’s first ball is very dangerous, darting inside back up the hill and almost knocking over Pope’s off-stump. Pope then hits a single before Stokes vs Rabada brings some fireworks: the fifth ball of the over whistles past the bat, and the sixth is charged by the batsman who adjusts late to help it to the leg-side for one.

England 80-4, Pope 42 Stokes 10; South Africa yet to bat

12:47 , Lawrence Ostlere

22nd over: Stokes bunts a strong, straight bat and that’s four runs down the ground. Another four comes as Stokes times a beautiful stroke back past the bowler, and the England captain is taking the game to the impressive Marco Jansen.

England 71-4, Pope 41 Stokes 2; South Africa yet to bat

12:43 , Lawrence Ostlere

21st over: Rabada is back into the attack before lunch, taking over from Nortje. Pope picks up a couple driving through cover and a more fortunate single off an inside edge.

England 68-4, Pope 38 Stokes 2; South Africa yet to bat

12:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

20th over: Stokes tries to charge Jansen this time, and it’s a total air shot, the ball bouncing over the stumps. It is hard to see how the captain is going to score well here if he goes this aggressive all day, but we’ll see how he settles into the innings. He and Pope flick ones either side as Jansen’s radar goes a little awry this time.

England 64-4, Pope 37 Stokes 1; South Africa yet to bat

12:35 , Lawrence Ostlere

19th over: Pope is having fun against Nortje, this time uppercutting a short ball over the slips for four. I don’t want to speak to soon but he looks very comfortable out there against a threatening attack in tricky conditions. A single brings Stokes into the line of fire, and he picks up a single before Pope adds two more.

England 56-4, Pope 30 Stokes 0; South Africa yet to bat

12:30 , Lawrence Ostlere

18th over: Marco Jansen looks absolutely deadly. He may be famed for his height but it is the combination of height, bounce, accuracy and most importantly swing which is causing England so many problems. The ball is hooping in to Pope who can’t do much except play it late and hope. He survives a close lbw call with the thinnest of inside edges, before punching into the leg-side for a single. Now here’s Stokes, the first left-hander of the day to face Jansen, and the England captain nudges it away to safety.

England 55-4, Pope 29 Stokes 0; South Africa yet to bat

12:26 , Lawrence Ostlere

17th over: That was just sheer pace from Nortje, who finally finds his range after some loose balls to Ollie Pope earlier in his spell. Ben Stokes comes in and attempts to charge the 93mph bowler – this could be fun/painful to watch.

Wicket! Bairstow 0, b Nortje. England 55-4

12:22 , Lawrence Ostlere

Nortje clatters the stumps with his express pace and that is Jonny Bairstow comprehensively dismissed. England are under the pump now, and their captain is already at the crease.

England 54-3, Pope 28 Bairstow 0; South Africa yet to bat

12:18 , Lawrence Ostlere

16th over: Pope pumps two through the off-side before Jansen finds that rich swing which did for Root and a tiny noise brings a big appeal from behind the stumps. No response from the umpire, and Elgar decides against a review. UltraEdge reveals it was a brush of the hip, rather than the bat, which made a sound, so a good decision by the South Africa captain. Pope pushes a single and Bairstow is on strike – he edges to the slip cordon but with soft hands and it doesn’t carry.

England 51-3, Pope 25 Bairstow 0; South Africa yet to bat

12:14 , Lawrence Ostlere

15th over: It brings Jonny Bairstow to the crease but it is Pope replicating Bairstow’s expansive summer style right now, taking the fight to Nortje who seems to be struggling a little with the Lord’s slope. Pope cracks back-to-back boundaries on the off-side before a leg bye to end the over.

Wicket! Root 8, lbw b Jansen. England 42-3

12:08 , Lawrence Ostlere

Jansen gets one turning back in and Root is leaning over to the off-side, unable to get bat on ball. It crashes into his pad below the kneeroll and the appeal goes up – and umpire Nitin Menon’s finger goes up! Root reviews, was it going down leg? Ball-tracking suggests the faintest feather on leg stump and the review is rejected, umpire’s call. A big moment in this Test match.

England 39-2, Pope 14 Root 8; South Africa yet to bat

12:01 , Lawrence Ostlere

13th over: Another bowling change as the powerful, super-quick Anrich Nortje takes over from Rabada. Pope slams the first ball away to deep backwards point for three, and Root does similarly but his soft hands allow the ball to go finer, all the way to the boundary rope. England’s best over of the morning, and Nortje has released some of the pressure built up by Rabada and Ngidi.

England 32-2, Pope 11 Root 4; South Africa yet to bat

11:57 , Lawrence Ostlere

12th over: Now then – the threatening Ngidi is stood down and in comes Marco Jansen, the South African giant. The 6ft 8in left-arm quick takes a few balls to find his range, bowling over the wicket to the right handers, and a couple of wafts by Pope persuade Elgar to bring in a leg-slip. A leg bye brings Root in for the final two deliveries, and he doesn’t play either ball.

England 31-2, Pope 11 Root 4; South Africa yet to bat

11:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

11th over: Rabada has switched tactics and is now employing the short ball against Joe Root, who is not particularly enjoying it. One ball crashes against the gloves of a jumping Root, but the former England captain survives.

England 29-2, Pope 11 Root 2; South Africa yet to bat

11:48 , Lawrence Ostlere

10th over: A big appeal from Ngidi as he crashes one into Pope’s pads, but umpire Nitin Menon is unmoved. It was clearly going down leg but Ngidi’s general enthusiasm seems to persuade Elgar to call for a review, and that is a review burned by the South Africans – not really close. Pope and Root pick up a single and a two respectively flicking to the leg side, before the over finishes with a leg bye off Root’s pads.

England 25-2, Pope 10 Root 0; South Africa yet to bat

11:44 , Lawrence Ostlere

9th over: Crawley started with some good composure this morning in the face of testing bowling from the South African front-line duo, but he never settled in the over and Rabada took full advantage. Root survives the final ball.

Wicket! Crawley 9, c Markram b Rabada. England 25-2

11:41 , Lawrence Ostlere

Crawley tries to play to the leg-side but catches the leading edge and gets away with it, the ball racing down to the boundary at deep backward square, but with the very next ball he’s gone: Rabada picks a tighter line and Crawley edges tentatively to Markram in the slips. His struggles continue.

England 18-1, Pope 7 Crawley 5; South Africa yet to bat

11:37 , Lawrence Ostlere

8th over: This is a good contest between bat and ball this morning at Lord’s. Rabada and Ngidi have found a consistent line and length at the top of fourth stump and a little late movement too, particularly from the latter who jags one into Pope’s lead thigh here – too high for any appeal. But there’s still the odd sign of England’s proactive approach on display, and Pope shows just that with a flick of the wrists to send a ball which was heading down off across to the leg-side for three.

England 15-1, Pope 4 Crawley 5; South Africa yet to bat

11:32 , Lawrence Ostlere

7th over: Pope takes advantage of a straight one from Rabada to jab the ball through the leg-side, but it doesn’t quite reach the boundary on what is a well-watered outfield and they run three. Crawley sees off the last three balls, refusing the offers outside off.

England 12-1, Pope 1 Crawley 5; South Africa yet to bat

11:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

6th over: Crawley pings a lovely drive to long-on for his first boundary, but Ngidi is finding some late movement up the hill against the slope, and Crawley is having to use all his discipline to leave this balls outside off stump. A good battle.

England 8-1, Pope 1 Crawley 1; South Africa yet to bat

11:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

5th over: Ollie Pope gets a little lucky, pulling out of a shot not quite quickly enough and edging towards the slips, but it doesn’t carry. Rabada looks in the mood here, and no signs of that ankle injury hampering him.

England 8-1, Pope 1 Crawley 1; South Africa yet to bat

11:21 , Lawrence Ostlere

4th over: A single off the pads for Crawley, and Pope sees off his first few balls against Ngidi before picking up a single off the last ball to retain the strike.

England 6-1, Pope 0 Crawley 0; South Africa yet to bat

11:19 , Lawrence Ostlere

3rd over: James Anderson talked this week about England choosing their moments and being a little selective in when to deploy their all-out attacking style, and perhaps their openers needed some more of that here. Lees had a warning when his flash zipped over the slip cordon and away for the first boundary of the innings, but tried again and paid the price.

Wicket! Alex Lees 5, c Verreynne b Rabada. England 6-1

11:16 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lees seemed to have seen off a theatening over from Rabada but with the last ball the bowler draws the bat outside off stump and the lightest edge which goes through to keeper Verreynne. South Africa strike early!

England 2-0, Lees 1 Crawley 0; South Africa yet to bat

11:11 , Lawrence Ostlere

2nd over: Lungi Ngidi takes the ball from the Pavilion End. He needs a few balls to find his range before picking a dangerous corridor just outside off-stump which Lees decides to let go. A maiden.

England 2-0, Lees 1 Crawley 0

11:08 , Lawrence Ostlere

1st over: Lees nudges away edgily on the leg side to get off strike second ball, before Crawley grabs a single off his pads, and Lees sees off the rest of the over.

England vs South Africa: First Test set to get under way at Lord’s

11:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

The hosepipe ban didn’t reach Lord’s, clearly, because the outfield looks lush and green – there is very little sign of England’s bake-dry summer this morning under the clouds. Kagiso Rabada will take the first over, to Alex Lees.

England vs South Africa: First Test set to get under way at Lord’s

10:59 , Lawrence Ostlere

Owner of the most aesthetically pleasing cover drive in recent English history, Ian Bell, rings the, err, bell, to signal the start of this Test match, and now here come the national anthems.

England vs South Africa: Confirmed line-ups and team news

10:57 , Lawrence Ostlere

England continue with the same team which saw off India in their delayed fifth Test match five weeks ago bar the return of Ben Foakes, who retakes the gloves from Sam Billings after a bout of Covid. Fast bowler Ollie Robinson and in-form batsman Harry Brook are both banging on the door and could well find themselves in the team at some point during the series.

South Africa will be delighted to see Kagiso Rabada come through a late fitness test on his ankle to make the team, although his overs may well be carefully managed as a result. It is a bowler-heavy line-up with the pace of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, the sheer height of the towering Marco Jansen, as well as the spin of white-ball captain Keshav Majaraj, while Aiden Markram can also offer some part-time off-spin if required.

England XI: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes (wkt), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, James Anderson.

South Africa XI: Dean Elgar (capt), Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje.

England vs South Africa: Captains embody fierce rivalry

10:49 , Lawrence Ostlere

There hasn’t been a lot of love lost between the captains Ben Stokes and Dean Elgar in the build-up to this one, and you get the sense this is going to be a combustible series.

“The opposition seem to be doing a lot of the talking at the moment about it,” Stokes told reporters on Tuesday. “We just concentrate on what we do. We’ve got a style of play, they’ve got a style of play.

“At the end of the day, it’s bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is most likely to win.

“For me, it’s just about reiterating the points that we were making at the start of the summer – our mindset, attitude and everything like that – about how we go out and play our cricket.”

Ben Stokes tosses the coin before the start of the first Test (Getty Images)
Ben Stokes tosses the coin before the start of the first Test (Getty Images)

England vs South Africa: Kagiso Rabada fit for first Test

10:43 , Lawrence Ostlere

South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is fit for the first Test, and is “100 per cent”, says captain Dean Elgar.

Rabada is a huge figure in the South African seam attack and his loss would be a massive blow as he battles back from an ankle problem sustained in the Twenty20 International series between the sides late last month.

South Africa win the toss and elect to bowl

10:34 , Lawrence Ostlere

Ben Stokes thows the coin in the air, Dean Elgar calls heads, and it is heads. He chooses to bowl first – Stokes looks a little surprised by that – and that means England will probably not be doing any fourth-innings chasing here at Lord’s this week.

“It’s nothing to do with what they’ve done in the past, it’s more to do with conditions overhead,” says Elgar with a grin.

England vs South Africa: Dean Elgar unimpressed by ‘Bazball’ approach

10:30 , Lawrence Ostlere

Dean Elgar has not held back with the anti-Bazball rhetoric in the build-up to this Test match.

The South Africa captain attempted to end the “mud-slinging” over England’s recent thrilling approach to Test cricket before he backtracked when pondering how Bazball would look when it goes wrong.

A bold brand of cricket with a positive approach at the forefront of everything has been quickly implemented by new red-ball captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, which saw the term ‘Bazball’ coined, but Elgar has repeatedly poked fun at the philosophy in recent weeks.

He initially looked to cool tensions on the eve of the first Test before the 35-year-old promised the tourists were not here to play soft-natured cricket.

“With all due respect I am really not going to entertain that (Bazball) anymore. We have chatted about it long and hard. I just want to crack on with the cricket,” Elgar said.

“I think the game deserves that respect and mud-slinging is now a thing of the past for me. We are not going to go back and forth any more around that.

“What they (England) did, the conditions were pretty nice to bat in during those specific Tests.

“They did really unique things around that time, those months ago, chasing the scores they did and it was something where I was also blown away with. It was pretty impressive.

“But I would like to think the bowlers we have, even if the wickets are pretty flat, I think we have covered our bases with regards to our bowling unit and we can bowl them out even if they are chasing.

“I am pretty confident because we have done it in the past. It might be hard work for us but this is what we are here to do. We are not here to play soft-natured cricket, we want it hard and really tough and hopefully the results go our way.”

South Africa captain Dean Elgar during a nets session at Lord’s (Getty Images)
South Africa captain Dean Elgar during a nets session at Lord’s (Getty Images)

Lord’s turns red for Ruth Strauss Foundation on day two of England vs South Africa

10:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lord’s will turn ‘Red for Ruth’ on Thursday in recognition of the Ruth Strauss Foundation.

The former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss’s wife died from lung cancer in December 2018, aged 46. Strauss, whose two sons Sam and Luca were young children at the time of Ruth’s illness and death, has since set up the foundation to support families as they prepare for grief and bereavement.

Red for Ruth has become an annual event in which players wear bright red caps and blazers and the home of cricket is transformed in colour, with spectactors encouraged to wear red too. This summer it falls on the second day of this Test match with South Africa.

England vs South Africa: Lord’s turns red for Ruth Strauss Foundation

England vs South Africa: Lord’s prepares for the first Test

10:21 , Lawrence Ostlere

Groundstaff prepare for the start of day one:

Lord’s readies for the visit of South Africa (Ashley Western/Colorsport/Shutterstock)
Lord’s readies for the visit of South Africa (Ashley Western/Colorsport/Shutterstock)

England vs South Africa: Rain forecast this afternoon

10:17 , Lawrence Ostlere

It is dry right now at Lord’s and looks promising for some play this morning, although showers and thunderstorms are forecast later in the day.

Mark Butcher’s analysis of the pitch suggests there’s a little green on the wicket and the potential for some uneven bounce, but perhaps more important this morning is the cloud cover above and humidity in the air. It looks like good bowling conditions, and given Ben Stokes’ new philosophy at the helm, England are sure to take the ball in hand should they win the toss.

Dean Elgar will fancy challenging England’s ‘Bazball’ approach and will probably want to have a bat, so this coin toss could be academic.

Ben Stokes: England will not compromise their style

10:11 , Lawrence Ostlere

England’s new ultra-aggressive approach has filtered down, with the Lions playing in the same manner in thrashing South Africa in Canterbury last week.

Centuries by Harry Brook and Ben Duckett, plus Dan Lawrence’s run-a-ball 97, saw the Lions post 672 and win by an innings and 56 runs in the four-day match.

Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton impressed with the ball but England’s only change from the win over India is that fit-again Ben Foakes is back behind the stumps in place of Sam Billings.

But Stokes added: “We have a certain type of way of playing and everyone else needs to know that who is trying to push to get in this England team.

“There’s perhaps more excitement than normal (about playing for the Lions) because I think you’ve been able to really express yourself in the way that you feel like you’ve always wanted to, but not felt like you can because you’ll get a slap on the wrist for playing a stupid shot. Well you’re not going to get that in our team here.

“You see the likes of Dan Lawrence, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, those guys are seriously excelling at the moment with the way we want guys to play.”

While Brook in particular is knocking on the door, Stokes’ faith in opener Zak Crawley remains unwavering.

The Kent batter averages 17.75 in eight Test innings this summer but earned praise from his captain for his contribution of 46 in a century stand for the first wicket with Alex Lees that kick-started England’s excellent chase of 378 to beat India last month.

“Him and Leesy were the main reason why we won,” Stokes insisted.

“Hand on heart I can say that was the most pleasing thing to me over those four or five weeks, that opening partnership at Edgbaston. To see Zak go out and still play in such a selfless manner.

“When you look at it from my point of view, I think you can see why these guys are getting the backing from me. They’re buying into what we’re doing and it’s not about them, the bigger picture is about winning the game.”

Ben Stokes warming up at Lord’s this week (Getty Images)
Ben Stokes warming up at Lord’s this week (Getty Images)

Ben Stokes: England will not compromise their style

10:06 , Lawrence Ostlere

There has been a lot of talk about England’s front-foot style in the build-up, but Ben Stokes has promised England will not change their new bold and aggressive approach to Test cricket no matter the challenge in front of them.

After four thrilling victories against New Zealand and India earlier this summer, South Africa are the next opponent trying to burst the hosts’ bubble.

Since red-ball captain Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum took over, England have produced exhilarating cricket where records have tumbled with 378 chased down at Edgbaston last month.

It has resulted in the playful term ‘Bazball’ being coined but outsiders like Steve Smith and Dean Elgar have cast doubt over the longevity of a philosophy which has transformed the way the longest format is viewed again in the UK.

Lord’s is the venue for Wednesday’s opening Test of a three-match series and Stokes is adamant even if his team bat first, having chased for their victories in 2022, it will not make a difference.

“No matter what conditions we have, we’ve got our way of playing and we’re going to stick to that. We’ll adapt to situations, but we’ll always go out with the same mindset that you’ve seen over the last four games,” he said.

“We’ve said if we have to chase down 400 in 60 overs on day five, we’ll try and do it, but it’s the same mindset with the ball. If we’ve got 40 overs to bowl a team out on day five, we’ll be doing everything that we can to do that and not just hope it happens.

“One of my desires as captain, away from the cricket and results, was how can we capture the imagination of the English followers again?

“I still firmly believe that if we had walked away on the wrong side of those games and not come away with a win, especially the Trent Bridge game if we hadn’t chased those (299) runs down, the people there and watching on TV would obviously have been disappointed with the result but they would have been excited with what they’d seen and would have wanted to come watch us.

“We would have got their support even if we hadn’t won, which is a very rare thing to do as a sporting team that you lose but you gain more fans and excitement out of the way you play, so honestly if we’d lost 4-0, I wouldn’t be sitting here changing the way I ask the lads to play.”

England captain Ben Stokes is gearing up for the first Test against South Africa (John Walton/PA). (PA Wire)
England captain Ben Stokes is gearing up for the first Test against South Africa (John Walton/PA). (PA Wire)

South Africa ready to test England’s bold new era – just don’t mention Bazball

10:00 , Jack Rathborn

Ben Stokes may want to spread the gospel of “Bazball” and change what the world believes about Test cricket, but he will not find a disciple in South Africa captain Dean Elgar.

Elgar is a straight-laced, hard-nosed cricketer almost from another era, stern and stoic like a man who’s never been hugged, whose grafting method could not be more at odds with England’s showboating summer. Where Stokes sees a duty to entertain, Elgar sees only duty. England and South Africa meet on Wednesday at Lord’s for the first of a three-Test series, and if the pre-match discourse offers a glimpse of what’s to come, it’s going to be a confrontational, combustible affair.

“I’ve got absolutely no interest in the style they’ve played,” Elgar said this week of England’s transformation under new coach Brendon McCullum, before going on to discuss it in some detail. Elgar predicted England will be left with “egg on their faces” by their gung-ho approach and dared Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and co to take on South Africa’s formidable bowling attack.

South Africa ready to test England’s bold new era – just don’t mention Bazball

England vs South Africa: Teams

09:50 , Jack Rathborn

England XI: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes (wkt), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, James Anderson.

South Africa XI (probable): Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Keshav Maharaj, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje

England vs South Africa: Team news

09:46 , Jack Rathborn

England’s only change from the Test against India is the return of wicket-keeper Ben Foakes - who missed that clash after testing positive for Covid - in place of Sam Billings. That means under-fire opener Zak Crawley retains his spot atop the order despite the prolific form of Harry Brook, while Matthew Potts continues as the third seamer behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad after bursting on to the scene this summer, even though fit-again Ollie Robinson shone for the England Lions last week.

South Africa will name their team on Wednesday morning with their main concern surrounding seamer Kagiso Rabada, who underwent a fitness test on Tuesday and is due another check-up after straining the medial ligament in his right ankle. The Proteas seem confident he will be fit to play, however. They are also likely to select all 6ft 8in of all-rounder Marco Jansen, unless they opt for an extra out-and-out batter, in which case Ryan Rickelton or Khaya Zondo could get the nod.