Cook hails ‘batting rock’ Compton


England captain Alastair Cook singled out batsman Nick Compton for praise after the Three Lions beat South Africa by 241 runs in the first Test in Durban on Wednesday.

Compton, who was playing his first game in the longest format for more than two years, scored 85 and 49 in a game that England won in the first session on the final morning.

The innings of 85 in the first innings was especially crucial from the 32 year-old Compton as it came after the tourists were in early trouble at 49 for three after losing the toss.

The second Test starts at Newlands on Saturday and Cook says they know that the home team will come back strongly in the four-match series.

Cook said: "The conditions to bat on the first morning were tough. I thought the way Nick came back after a few years out really helped – he was a rock for us in that first innings.

"The lads played really well. Once we got 300 always thought we were in the game and we feel comfortable bowling in any conditions.

"We'll enjoy the next few hours as a team – it's our first away win for a long period of time. We know what a strong side South Africa are in home conditions – but we're really prepared for this tour."