The second day started with the news of Rabada been given another demerit point for his celebration against the England captain which meant he picked up an automatic suspension for the fourth test. Although Rabada appears to be failing to learn previous lessons as he has been down this road before the ICC regulations are doing the game no favours.
On the field England had an excellent morning as the slow wicket provided comfortable batting conditions for Stokes and Pope. The former got to his century first as you would expect due to his aggressive nature especially against the spin bowlers. In the process Stokes went past 4000 test runs as he continues to push his career average skyward.
In the afternoon Stokes appeared to get a little frustrated as he struggled to find the boundary with his regular ease. Eventually he chipped one in the air chasing a wide one but his stand of over 200 with young Ollie Pope had put England in poll position.
Buttler followed quickly when he just tossed one back to the spinner Maharaj for one which left all eyes back on Pope. In the end the Surrey youngster comfortably went to his hundred in what felt like a really important moment for English cricket and it should be the first of many.
The hosts looked demoralised and the end of the innings was extremely messy from their perspective as Curran and number ten Wood both made quick fire forties. England declared when they thought Wood was caught only to discover that Rabada had overstepped which just about summed South Africa up.
Eventually England declared on 499-9 leaving South Africa a tricky little period to bat out at the end of the day. The two openers did ok to put on fifty together but maybe when Bess came on they dropped their concentration levels as Malan and Hamza were both out playing indeterminate shots.
At the end of the days play it felt like the second day of the test match had been a significant one for the series. Remember an England victory in Port Elizabeth ensures they take the Basil D’oliveira trophy home.