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AB makes debut against England

As reported on CricketIreland on Friday, AB de Villiers, as expected, made his debut for South Africa in the First Test against England in Port Elizabeth. Having won the toss on Friday, the Proteas elected to bat and AB was straight into the fray with skipper and fellow opener Graeme Smith. Matthew Hoggard produced a sensational start for England when he had Smith caught by Strauss off his second delivery. Despite his inexperience at this level, AB bedded himself in with number three bat Jacques Rudolph which saw them put together a partnership of 63, helping to steady the South African ship before AB was snared LBW by Andrew Flintoff for 28. Despite looking plumb at first glance, Hawkeye seemed to suggest the ball may just have cleared the bails so he may have been a little unlucky to see that end to what was a solid debut innings which Roger said saw "some typically classy shots through the point and cover areas". The South African innings was eventually ended on day two with a total of 337 on the board with contributions of 93 by Rudolph and 110 by Dippenaar. England's reply saw them close out on day three with a total of 425 with the outstanding contribution of 126 by Andrew Strauss ended by a comfortable but well-taken catch at point by AB. Day three saw AB back in the boards as the South Africans set about trying to overhaul England's first innings lead. Despite looking pretty comfortable for the first 5 or 6 overs, AB fell on 14 to a sensational caught and bowled dismissal by Matthew Hoggard, picking the ball off his toes from a slightly pushed backwards defensive stroke from the young opener.

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