Taylor leads England fightback
DURBAN, South Africa (AP):
James Taylor led England's fightback on the first day of the first test against South Africa as his half-century took the tourists out of trouble and to 179-4 at stumps yesterday.
The 5-foot-6 Taylor - affectionately nicknamed 'Titch' - stood tall for England to make 70 after Dale Steyn's fiery early burst had the tourists struggling at 12-2 in overcast, fast-bowler-friendly conditions in Durban.
"It couldn't have been more perfect conditions for the South African bowling unit, so, overall, I thought it was a pretty solid day for us," Taylor said.
Steyn struck the first blows with the dismissals of England captain Alastair Cook for a duck and Test debutant Alex Hales for 10. Joe Root's aggressive innings of 24 ended swiftly, leaving Taylor and Nick Compton to steady the innings.
Compton was 63 not out and helped Taylor rescue England with a 125-run partnership on the opening day of the four-Test series against the top-ranked Proteas.
Steyn ended their resistance when he tempted Taylor to hang his bat out and feather an edge to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers right at the end of the day.
"I loved batting today. It's just a shame I couldn't kick on," Taylor said.