Debutant Stephen Cook and Hashim Amla shared a double century partnership for South Africa before England fought back on the first day of the fourth and final Test at SuperSport Park on Friday.
Cook made 115 and Amla hit 109 in a South Africa total of 329 for five at the close of play. The pair put on 202 for the second wicket before Amla’s dismissal sparked a collapse in which four wickets, including that of Cook, fell for 36 runs.
Cook, called up at the age of 33 when the South African selectors finally opted for a specialist opening batsman to partner Dean Elgar, was calm and organised from the start of his 218-ball innings during which he hit 14 boundaries.
Amla, four months younger than Cook but 91 matches richer in Test experience, was back to his fluent best as he reached his century off 131 deliveries with 18 fours.