Proteas bowlers offer no excuses for poor discipline

Morne Morkel was one of the no-ball culprits.  Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

Morne Morkel was one of the no-ball culprits. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

Two wickets go a begging due to no-balls as South Africa have a mountain to climb to get back into the first Test against England.

Vernon Philander, says there are “no excuses” for the ill-disciplined bowling performance on day one of the first Test match against England at Lord’s on Thursday.

The attack made a fine start in restricting the hosts to 82/4 at lunch, but lost their way with the poor execution of the basics – which included nine no-balls – and the costly wicket of England captain Joe Root, who is unbeaten on 184.

Also read: Sloppy Proteas punished for their careless attitude

Philander was the standout performer on the day finishing with 3/46 in 16 overs, the highlight of a disappointing day dominated by phenomenal Root batting.

“It was a disappointing end for us having had them 82/4,” he said at stumps.

“In saying that, I don’t think it was our best display in the field today to be honest.

The Proteas’ longstanding problems with no-balls continued as first Morne Morkel bowled Ben Stokes off an illegal delivery before spinner Keshav Maharaj committed the cardinal sin of overstepping as a tweaker in stumping Root.

“There is no excuse for that,” Philander said of the no-balls.

“A couple of guys overstepped on a few occasions and it cost us a couple of wickets which were expensive for us. There is no excuse and it was a poor day in the field for all of us.”

The bowlers have a second new ball and fresh legs to look ahead to on day two on Friday, which could be a defining day in the match if England’s batsmen continue to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Philander says the attack will need to regroup and show some character if they are to restrict England to a manageable first innings total.

“We need to get five wickets as quickly as possible. We have to come back tomorrow and show some good character with the ball. Hopefully we can restrict them to 450 and go and bat well.”

England will resume on 357/5 with Root (184) and Moeen Ali (61) at the crease.

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