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De Kock: "I’ve always liked to bat higher"

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Proteas wicket-keeper batsman, Quinton de Kock, says it’s honours even after the opening day of the second Test match against England at Trent Bridge on Friday. The Proteas recovered from a middle order collapse to finish on 309/6 at stumps, after a determined 74-run seventh-wicket partnership between all-rounders Vernon Philander (54 not out) and Chris Morris (23 not out) lifted the first innings performance.

The hopes of a substantial first innings score lie with the two - with only Keshav Maharaj remaining as the last batting option- and every run will be vital in making the most of the decision to bat first.  

"It was very up and down today,” he said of the day’s proceedings. “ In the one session it was our session and the next it was England’s, it was back and forth. We went through stages where we played some good cricket, we would have liked to have done better, but unfortunately that is not the nature of the game to have everything that you want.

“Tomorrow will be moving day for us,” he continued. “ Vernon and Morris have gotten us into a great position so we will need to capitalise and go forward with that.”

As opening partners in ODI cricket, Hashim Amla (78) and De Kock (68) reunited in an entertaining 113-run third-wicket partnership, which was scored at a brisk rate of 4.61 to the over. The pair had contrasting innings’; Amla was attritional and calculated, while De Kock was expressive and attacking, but they both flourished against quality swing bowling from James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The 24-year-old says his elevation to number four proved to be a worthy innovation, and is a role he has relished taking on.

“ I’ve always liked to bat higher, ”he said. “ The team make-up has never really allowed me to but a couple of selections for this Test, with other guys coming in, I thought there was a gap where they might need me to bat. I put my hand up and took the opportunity.

“I didn’t change my game plan,” he said of his approach. “ I knew that I would have to be a lot tighter coming up against a newer ball. Mentally I went in to bat the same, I was confident and kept it simple.”

Play is scheduled to start at 11h00 local time.