Cricket

Alastair Cook falls for a duck as England get under way in South Africa

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England captain Alastair Cook fell for a duck in Durban on the first morning of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

The tourists were asked to bat first under cloudy skies following a half-hour rain delay and Cook lasted 11 balls before nicking Dale Steyn to second slip.

That was the perfect start for the Proteas, with England 12 for one when the rain returned at the start of the seventh over.

Steyn, returning to the side after a groin problem, sent down some potent deliveries and drew another edge from number three Nick Compton, who was fortunate to see the ball drop marginally short of slip.

The 32-year-old, who was born in Durban, also survived a near run out after dashing a single to get off the mark.

Debutant Alex Hales, who was awarded his England cap by former captain Mike Atherton before play, got off the mark with his first ball in Tests, a neat tuck off the legs for two, and reached 10 runs before thunder and lightning arrived.

Having been bowled offering no stroke twice in three innings on tour, the Nottinghamshire man made one brave leave off Kyle Abbott and will have been relieved to see the ball pass his stumps.

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