The much-vaunted England pace attack was able to take just two South African wickets over five days last week – but a 23-year-old from the Isle of Wight managed to claim three scalps in just a matter of hours yesterday in the first day of the tour match at New Road, Worcester.
Chris Russell, a 23-year-old from Newport who has mainly played for Worcestershire's second XI and has only been picked for two one-day games for the first team, took 3 for 40 on his first-class debut as the South Africans declared on 237 for 9.
A B De Villiers (pictured right), who did not even get to the crease during the thumping innings victory for South Africa in the first Test at The Oval, got valuable time in the middle as he made 80. There were also runs for Morne Morkel's brother Albie, who hit a half-century, and Vernon Philander, who finished 40 not out.
The centurions from south London – Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and the monumental Hashim Amla, were all rested for the game.
One man who was not rested but seems to have hit peak form is Dale Steyn, who struck with the first ball of Worcestershire's reply – removing captain Daryl Mitchell – and with the first ball of his second over – dismissing Moeen Ali, both for ducks.
The hosts reached stumps on 70 for 3.
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