Cricket-England remain positive despite late S Africa charge

First Test - England v South Africa

LONDON (Reuters) - Spinner Jack Leach says England will continue to play their positive brand of cricket despite a late flurry of runs from South Africa that moved the touring side into a commanding position on the second day of the first test at Lord’s.

The home side’s bowlers, led by captain Ben Stokes, dragged England back into the contest on Thursday when they had South Africa six wickets down with a lead of only 45.

But Marco Jansen (41 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (41) put on 72 in about 12 overs to wrestle back control and take the visitors' advantage to 124 as they reached 289 for seven at the close.

"We are behind in the game, but we’ve stuck at it really well," Leach told SkySports. "We are always trying to take wickets, that’s our mindset. We could have had a few more, but we just have to keep at it.

"I felt like we were creating half-chances and we have to believe we can take them. It’s the way it goes, we are just thinking about how to impact the game in front of us and not about the scoreboard."

Leach (1-42) bowled with good control and found prodigious spin, picking up the wicket of Aiden Markram (16).

"I felt like I had nothing to lose and could just go for it, spin the ball hard and see what is in the surface," he said.

"I feel that belief in me now. I have confidence having played enough test cricket. You get that confidence through performances.

"When I get into a rhythm, I feel I have more control and energy. It’s about not rushing things. If you feel excitement and nerves you can rush through your run-up."

The test is the first of three in the series with matches to come at Old Trafford and The Oval.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)