Cricket-England fight back after Steyn strikes early

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(Adds details to tea) By Mark Gleeson DURBAN, Dec 26 (Reuters) - South Africa's Dale Steyn marked his return to the international arena with a fiery display to dismiss England's openers but the tourists fought back to 121 for three at tea on a rain-hit first day of the opening test at Kingsmead on Saturday. Pace bowler Steyn quickly rediscovered his usual venom and aggression to grab the wickets of England captain Alastair Cook and debutant Alex Hales. Nick Compton (40 not out) and James Taylor (41 not out) shared a 71-run partnership to revive England and give the touring side a foothold in the match. Steyn, with 2-21 off nine overs, struck an early blow to remove Cook for a duck before lunch and Hales in the first over of an extended second session. Joe Root played some fluent attacking stokes before a quick knock of 24 was abruptly halted by the first ball of spinner Dane Piedt's opening over. Root played right back on his stumps and was trapped lbw, a decision upheld after a review. As the sun finally began to emerge, however, South African-born Compton, making his return to the England team at number three, showed a steely determination and was ably assisted by a more aggressive Taylor as they saw off the seamers and picked up the run rate. Several rain delays took some momentum out of the game but clear skies and seasonally hot and humid conditions were predicted for the remaining days. After winning the toss, South Africa got the perfect start to the four-match series by claiming the key wicket of Cook in the third over as the left-hander was tempted by a delivery just outside off-stump from Steyn and edged to Dean Elgar at second slip. Just 6.1 overs were possible before the threat of lightning forced the players off the field and a heavy downpour followed, causing lunch to be taken early. Five balls into the second session, Steyn struck again as Hales chased a ball that was not the right length to drive and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers pouched the catch, setting off an exuberant celebration. (Editing by Ed Osmond; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)