I suppose one small mercy for South Africa leading into the third day is that they couldn’t play any worse than how they did the previous day. Philander and the impressive de Kock was the not out batsmen who were given the task of trying to chip away at England’s score.
The first over however proved fruitful for England as Woakes bowled a slightly slower one that Philander could only spoon up into the air. What follow this early breakthrough turned out to be South Africa’s strongest period in the match as de Kock and Pretorius batted for over an hour with few alarms.
The pair put on fifty with a range of boundaries all round the wicket which left any notion of Root enforcing the follow on in tatters. England at one point was left scratching their heads slightly at the situation as they’d been in such control for most of the match.
The man who broke the partnership was of course Stokes as he dismissed Pretorius in a similar fashion to how he got him at Cape Town. The ball leapt up and took the corner of the bat to be caught at gully and now England had an end open.
The man of the moment Mark Wood saw to the rest of the innings as he got one to nip back at de Kock who until then was looking immovable. The last pair didn’t last long and suddenly Wood had his second career five wicket haul in test matches. A great effort from a very popular guy who had missed so much cricket through injury in the past.
After lunch England decided to bat again with a lead just over 200 and still two and half days left. A real low point of the day happened a few overs into England’s innings when Vernon Philander limped off the field with what looked like a hamstring injury. As it turned out Philander would not return making that his final bowling spell in international cricket.
Crawley and Sibley made solid but perhaps a tad slow starts considering the match situation but eventually they started to put their foot down. This acceleration from the batsmen as expected brought opportunities for the hosts as England began to lose wickets.
Some repetition in the dismissals for England were starting to show as Denly was bowled through the gate, Sibley caught on the leg side and Stokes caught behind driving with a closed bat face. Right now most of these are nothing to panic about but more something to keep your eye on.
Buttler at seven came and went quickly which puts serious doubts over his place in the side moving forward especially with the like of Foakes and Bairstow breathing down his neck. As in the first innings there was some late resistance by the England tail who helped support Root through to a half century late on in the evening.
The final piece of action came from Faf du Plessis who superbly caught his opposite number in Root by flying through air and plucking the ball one handed. This left England needing ten wickets for victory or an unlikely 466 runs for South Africa.
England 1st Innings
|Z Crawley||c van der Dussen b Philander||66||112||11||0|
|D P Sibley||c de Kock b Hendricks||44||93||7||0|
|J L Denly||c van der Dussen b Paterson||27||35||4||0|
|J E Root||c de Kock b Nortje||59||108||6||0|
|B A Stokes||c van der Dussen b Nortje||2||10||0||0|
|O J D Pope||b Nortje||56||78||8||0|
|J C Buttler||c Elgar b Philander||20||43||3||0|
|S M Curran||c de Kock b Nortje||0||1||0||0|
|C R Woakes||c du Plessis b Nortje||32||46||5||0|
|M A Wood||35||39||2||3|
|S C J Broad||c Malan b Paterson||43||28||2||4|
|Extras||9lb 0 4w 3nb||16|
|Total||for 10||400||98.2 overs|
|V D Philander||20||2||50||2|
|B E Hendricks||23||3||111||1|
South Africa 1st Innings
|D Elgar||c Woakes b Stokes||26||64||5||0|
|P J Malan||c Buttler b Wood||15||63||1||0|
|H E van der Dussen||c Stokes b Curran||0||7||0||0|
|F du Plessis||lbw b Woakes||3||29||0||0|
|Q de Kock||b Wood||76||116||11||0|
|T Bavuma||c Stokes b Wood||6||28||0||0|
|A Nortje||c Denly b Wood||6||16||1||0|
|V D Philander||c Broad b Woakes||4||3||1||0|
|D Pretorius||c Crawley b Stokes||37||73||7||0|
|B E Hendricks||5||9||1||0|
|D Paterson||c Buttler b Wood||4||3||1||0|
|Total||for 10||183||68.3 overs|
|S C J Broad||14||3||27||0|
|S M Curran||12||4||25||1|
|C R Woakes||17||7||38||2|
|M A Wood||14||2||46||5|
|B A Stokes||11||1||47||2|
England 2nd Innings
|Z Crawley||c de Kock b Pretorius||24||60||2||0|
|D P Sibley||c Malan b Hendricks||44||107||7||0|
|J L Denly||b Paterson||8||15||1||0|
|J E Root||c du Plessis b Hendricks||58||96||5||1|
|B A Stokes||c van der Dussen b Hendricks||28||24||6||0|
|O J D Pope||c de Kock b Nortje||11||13||2||0|
|J C Buttler||c de Kock b Nortje||8||10||1||0|
|S M Curran||c Paterson b Hendricks||35||29||6||0|
|C R Woakes||c de Kock b Hendricks||0||2||0||0|
|M A Wood||b Pretorius||18||12||3||0|
|S C J Broad||1||1||0||0|
|Extras||4b 8lb 0 1w||13|
|Total||for 10||248||61.3 overs|
|V D Philander||1||1||1||0|
|B E Hendricks||15||2||64||5|
|P J Malan||2||0||5||0|
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