England started the third day looking to try and restrict South Africa to a lead of around the 250 mark in order to give them a chance of winning the match. Continuing with England’s theme of the tour however as things didn’t exactly go to plan when the night watchmen Nortje hung around and made a well composed 40. England may regret not starting with Archer as a bouncer wasn’t bowled at the lower order batsmen for around half an hour.
Throughout the first half of the day South Africa bit by bit took the game away from England as they built their lead way above the 250 mark. The English bowlers didn’t bowl collectively in the right areas enough and tempers became fraught as Broad and Stokes appeared to have some sort of confrontation whilst waiting for a new batsmen after a wicket.
The pair quickly made up but thanks to some big hitting from de Kock England was set 376 to win which was slightly bigger than the 4th innings chase they made back in the summer at Headingley. The pitch however throughout the day had seemed to being playing slightly better which the locals thought was due to the lack of sun and heat beating down on it.
So with the odds stacked against them the relatively new opening partnership of Burns and Sibley headed out to the middle. Despite Burns being dropped in the slips early in his innings the pair appeared to be under little strain as they put together England’s highest opening stand of the year with 92.
Eventually Sibley gifted an easy catch back to Maharaj which was disappointing as the opener was starting to look more assured then at any other time during his brief international career. Denly and an incredibly impressive looking Burns survived through to the close setting up what could be a dramatic final day. England has good recent memories of chasing down big 4th innings scores and South Africa has bad ones after their defeat to Sri Lanka earlier in the year. Whatever happens it’s going to be enthralling test cricket.
|A K Markram||lbw b Anderson||2||5||0||0|
|D Elgar||c Buttler b Archer||22||27||5||0|
|Z Hamza||c Buttler b Broad||4||16||0||0|
|F du Plessis||c Curran b Archer||20||28||3||1|
|H E van der Dussen||lbw b Archer||51||67||5||0|
|A Nortje||c Sub b Archer||40||89||6||0|
|Q de Kock||c Bairstow b Stokes||34||37||2||3|
|D Pretorius||c Sibley b Stokes||7||7||1||0|
|V D Philander||c Bairstow b Curran||46||68||4||0|
|K A Maharaj||c Curran b Archer||11||16||1||0|
|Extras||5b 3lb 0 9w 2nb||19|
|Total||for 10||272||61.4 overs|
|J M Anderson||13||1||47||1|
|S C J Broad||11||2||42||1|
|J C Archer||17||1||102||5|
|S M Curran||12||3||51||1|
|B A Stokes||8||1||22||2|