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England vs South Africa, fourth Test

06 August, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Glenda Knight
   Ben Stokes during his man of the match performance in England's third test win over South Africa

He played only a limited part in South Africa's defeat and his absence told with the bowlers misfiring. On Bairstow's watch, England had added 102 runs to their overnight 260 for 4 to turn a dicey position into a dominant one.

When Stokes fell in the second to last over, to an explosive yorker from Kagiso Rabada - it gave South Africa the edge on the day despite losing their key strike bowler Vernon Philander to injury before the start.

Temba Bavuma was bowled shouldering arms - several of the Protea batsmen have been curiously reluctant to use their willow in this series - and skipper Faf du Plessis dragged onto his stumps. Morne Morkel had another frustrating day, beating the bat on numerous occasions, seeing edges fly through vacant third slip and also suffering when de Kock dropped Bairstow. India then bundled out the home team for 291 with Angelo Mathews (83), Upul Tharanga (64) and Dilruwan Perera's making a swashbuckling unbeaten 92 that included 10 fours and four sixes.

Moeen, edging Rabada to second slip on 14, was next as England slipped to 303 for eight.

Anderson's first scalp came with only his third delivery in a moment of incredible drama and the next three arrived in his second spell - including a burst of two in three balls.

Bairstow's stand with Anderson must have been highly frustrating for South Africa, after De Kock put down England's mainstay and prevented Rabada ending the innings with a five-wicket haul.

England's erratic dominance continued straight after the evening drinks break, when Keshav Maharaj, on 1, edged Moeen off the tip of Bairstow's gloves and away through his legs to safety.

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Bavuma might have been run out on 23, but Moeen failed in his attempt to take the stumps, while two hard chances were dropped in successive balls.

Whatever the personnel, South Africa will be forthright rather than cagey as they try to snatch a share of the series spoils on a ground Du Plessis once called home as Lancashire's overseas player.

The final overs were a mishmash of intent and reticence from England, who were keen to wrap up the innings, but not so keen that they would be required to face any overs before the close.

It was Bairstow who first lit up the Manchester crowd with some brilliant strokeplay as he made South Africa pay for a missed chance which would have ended England's innings on 312, had wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock held a regulation catch when he was on 53.

It was that kind of day for England.

Lady luck had smiled on Root in Manchester, where South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock inexplicably failed to dive when presented with a routine catch off the bowling of the controlled and unsafe Morne Morkel (1-58).

The review came instantly, but could not save the Yorkshire batsman, whose brilliance did not result in a fourth Test century.



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