Joe Root’s unbeaten 184 puts England on track after South Africa make inroads

• England 357-5 (87 overs)
• New captain rides his luck to finish undefeated on 184

At the first stroke Joe Root has made life easier for himself and his team. The first priority of a new captain who is a batsman has nothing to do with such ephemeral notions as bonding the team or setting the tone; it is to score runs. And at the first attempt Root has delivered in style.

He has sparkled more in the past on his passage towards three figures, but having posted his hundred he was at his impish best, melding sweet and solid orthodoxy with a few homespun specialities that must have had his father and grandad beaming in the stands.

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