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Summary

  1. Stokes 74*, Bairstow 39* - stand worth 94
  2. Hales 60, Root 50, Compton 45
  3. Three wickets for Rabada
  4. Fit-again Anderson replaces Woakes
  5. Eng won toss; 1-0 up in four-Test series

Live Reporting

By Marc Higginson and Justin Goulding

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight!

I'd say that's a wrap from us. There'll be plenty of reaction on the site later, but until then share the love with the football boys and girls. They're over here.

Thanks for your contributions today, I reckon you've excelled yourself with the pictures of cricket grounds. Well done!

See you tomorrow.

'We've got to fight'

South Africa debutant Chris Morris, who took 1-99, on Sky Sports: "It's been the dream since I was a youngster, so to walk out and represent my country is a proud moment.

"Ten days ago I thought I was going to go on holiday. As soon as the call came I was packing my bags and I'm happy to be here.

"Stokes played rather well but we've got to be honest - I didn't bowl well with the second new ball.

"We'll come back tomorrow and try and get back on as soon as I can. There's a lot of hard work ahead of us and we've got to fight as hard as we can."

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Daniel Fellows: @Stokesy is already a far better all rounder than #Flintoff in my opinion. Genuine world class, striking fear into opposition.

Close 317/5. England scored at 5 per over in the final session. @benstokes38 brilliant…don’t miss the first ball tomorrow…on air 0815 GMT

'We can take the game away from South Africa'

More from England's Alex Hales: "We're in a pretty good position. Around the second new ball mark the game was in the balance, and the way Stokesie and Jonny played has put us in a good position. They played superbly.

"The next two wickets are key partnerships, and they way they bat they can take the game away."

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Caroline: Good day's play, lads. On balance we came out on top. Well done Ben S and Jonnie B. Good knock!

Player's view

England's Alex Hales, who made 60 in his second Test, on Sky Sports "The coach has said go out and play your natural game - how you do for Notts and for the England one-day team - so there's no pressure on me in that respect. I look to be an attacking player and occasionally I'll make the odd mistake."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I don't want to be too critical but I don't think we're enamoured with Amla's captaincy. There are things he could have done better.

"England are the better side, I'll be surprised if they don't win."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Ben Stokes
Rex Features

"I thought South Africa had done quite well but Stokes played nicely and didn't do anything silly - then he exploded.  He might have played and missed the odd one but he played some scintillating shots and smashed them to all parts.

"Amla didn't help his bowlers by putting men on the boundary to stop fours. Stokes took them to the cleaners and Bairstow played sensibly enough. No one was winning but England are now in the box seat. 150 runs in the last session? You've got to be kidding."

Then it was the Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow show. The pair rescued England with some powerful, but virtually chanceless, hitting which took England from 223-5 in the 68th over to 317-5 at the close. They scored at almost a run a ball.

'England gave four wickets away'

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Compton played his nice self - very steady. He got 45 nice runs but then he pulled one straight to mid-wicket. Taylor's was an awful shot - he'll look at that tonight and be embarrassed. Joe Root was busy and played well. But he got himself out too.

"Hales gave it away. Compton gave it away. Root gave it away. England gave away four wickets on a lovely batting pitch."

James Taylor also perished to a bad shot - caught behind driving to the first ball after tea to register a golden duck while Joe Root once again reached 50 but failed to kick on.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I feel that if Hales is going to succeed over a period in Test cricket he has to rein things in. You can get away with things in one-day cricket where there are no slips but he needs to improve. You don't want to be giving your wicket away."

Time to look back on an entertaining day of Test cricket.

England got off to a flyer, reaching 55 without loss before Alastair Cook was caught by Chris Morris's superb slip catch.

However, Alex Hales (60) and Nick Compton (45) steadied the ship and advanced England's score nicely before gifting their wickets with poor shots.

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Jack of all trades: England's day for sure, the final session took it away from SA. I think Amla should have kept the new ball for tmrw morning.

Close of play scorecard

England 317-5 (87 overs)

Batsmen: Stokes 74*, Bairstow 39*

Bowling figures: Morkel 18-3-51-1, Morris 22-3-99-1, Rabada 19-2-74-3, Piedt 21-5-63-0, van Zyl 5-0-12-0, Elgar 2-0-7-0.

Fall of wickets: 55-1 (Cook 27), 129-2 (Hales 60), 167-3 (Compton 45), 167-4 (Taylor 0), 223-5 (Root 50)

England won the toss

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Peter Coles: Feel sorry for Amla but it has to be said he's getting it all wrong here.

How ironic that South Africa sent down seven overs of medium pace while they waited for the new ball and England smashed 46 off the first five overs delivered with the new nut.

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Gareth Price: Everyone busy laying into England middle order as ever. But I bet Stokes and Bairstow have won us this Test in the last hour.

Close of play

There we have it then... England march off very much on top. A job very well done.

Ben Stokes deserves much of the credit for his swashbuckling 74 not out.

Eng 317-5 (Stokes 74, Bairstow 39)

Morne Morkel comes on for an over before the close.

Horse. Bolted.

Maiden.

Best ground in the world?

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Canford School
Edward Johnson

Edward Johnson: Canford School 1st XI pitch is pretty special.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I think the inexperience has shown here once they've come under pressure. They've looked tired, particularly young Morris in his first Test."

Eng 317-5 (Stokes 74, Bairstow 39)

Chris Morris has seen his figures take a real battering - his figures in this spell are 3-0-35-0. Remember, he's seen as a T20 specialist... is he lacking bowling stamina late in the day?

Ben Stokes pulls another boundary down to fine leg as England motor along merrily.

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Nick: I have needed to toilet for about 20 mins, I don't dare go for what I might miss. How can Test cricket be dying?

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"You've got to give the South Africa captaincy to AB de Villiers."

Eng 311-5 (run-rate 3.70)

This has been spectacularly bad captaincy from Hashim Amla. He allowed Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow to play themselves in against part-time medium pacers and then chucked the new ball to his two inexperienced pace bowlers while Morne Morkel grazes in the outfield. The Proteas are retreating towards the dressing room 15 minutes before the close... their field resembles a one-day field when a batsman is smiting boundary after boundary. The two slips deflect from a defensive outlook in which the boundaries are reinforced.

Not that it prevents Jonny Bairstow hitting a four through the covers which makes him the 100th man to score 1000 Test runs for England.

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Hymers College
D Elstone

D Elstone: How about Hymers College in Hull?

Eng 303-5 (Stokes 68, Bairstow 31)

Ben Stokes is furiously landing blows on a cowering opponent now, smoking four through mid-wicket and then hooking a single with a shot which might have put the ball on to Table Mountain if he'd connected. Jonny Bairstow joins in the fun, poking four behind square to take England beyond 300.

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#bbccricket Merion CC USA Most beautiful in the world. Gary Sobers was stunned when he came to the annual festival.

#bbccricket Merion CC USA Most beautiful in the world. Gary Sobers was stunned when he came to the annual festival.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Ben Stokes
AFP

"Once they get going, these lower-order players, you can't stop them. The only way to stop them is to get them out."

Eng 291-5 (Stokes 62 off 79)

The runs are flowing for Ben Stokes, who picks up Kagiso Rabada's attempted yorker and whips him for two. Stokes hits the ball so hard. I reckon he could hammer a nail into a wall with a pillow. A brute of an all-rounder.

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#bbccricket best cricket ground in the world: Littlewick Green cricket club: great pub on the boundary

#bbccricket best cricket ground in the world: Littlewick Green cricket club: great pub on the boundary

Jonathan Agnew

BBC Test Match Special

"There's always a danger associated with taking a new ball that it comes off the bat nicely as well."

Eng 288-5 (Stokes 59, Bairstow 26)

Ben Stokes
Getty Images

Stand and deliver. Ben Stokes is cashing in... crunching another boundary through the off side with a sledgehammer-like follow through.

And another... the fourth in the over, this time edged through the vacant third slip region. Chris Morris is chastened.

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Sedbergh School
Martin South

Martin South: Sedbergh School Cumbria, rather nice.

50 for Ben Stokes (off 70 balls)

Eng 279-5

Ben Stokes
AFP

Shot! Chris Morris pushes the new ball up and Ben Stokes drives it for four. Then the all-rounder slashes the next one over the slip cordon to bring up his half-century. The new ball also brings run-scoring opportunities.

New ball

Here we go then. South Africa have a new nut in their hand.