Early on the third morning James Anderson polished of South Africa as he completed yet another five wicket haul which gave England a lead of around 50 runs. A superb effort from the 37 year old who now tops the list of most five wicket hauls for England.
With England batting with the luxury of having a lead the new boys looked set to get them off to a fast start. Crawley hit Rabada for a string of boundaries as he raced into the twenties before a possible closed bat face whilst driving meant he nicked behind of a full delivery.
Denly and Sibley however built on the quick score and the former in particular seemed to have learnt from his errors in the first innings against the spinner. Throughout the afternoon the pitch appeared to become slower and flatter as South Africa started to run out of ideas.
Denly on 31 was out conducting an extravagant pull however this didn’t upset England’s momentum as captain Root came in to up what was a pretty low run rate. Obviously helped by the ever growing lead but Root was looking as good at the crease as he had done for the last 12 months and looked certain for a century until Pretorius produced a lovely little away swinger late in the day.
Dom Bess acting as night-watchmen bagged a pair and quickly followed his captain back but despite the late wickets it had definitely been England’s day. The plan will surely be to declare tomorrow and give themselves the best part of five sessions to win the game, this especially due to the nature of batsmen that are left to come in.