England set 474 to win 2nd Test against South Africa
England were set a record target of 474 to win the second Test against South Africa at Trent Bridge yesterday. South Africa declared their second innings on 343 for nine shortly before the close of the third day.
The most any side have made to win in the fourth innings of a Test is the West Indies’ 418 for seven against Australia at St John’s, Antigua, in 2003. Hashim Amla top-scored for the Proteas on Sunday with 87, opener Dean Elgar made 80 and returning captain Faf du Plessis 63. Off-spinner Moeen Ali took four for 78.
At tea, the Proteas were 236 for four in their second innings-a lead of 366 runs-after Amla had fallen for 87. Returning captain Faf du Plessis was 42 not out and Temba Bavuma unbeaten on 12. South Africa’s current total was already well above the highest ever score made to win in the fourth innings in 118 years of Test cricket at Trent Bridge-England’s 284 for six against New Zealand in 2004.
South Africa started the session on 160 for three, with Amla 61 not out and du Plessis four not out. England bowled tightly but with South Africa having established a commanding position in the match, and so much time left in the game, there was no need for their fourth-wicket pair to take undue risks.
Amla and du Plessis, both renowned for their patience at the crease, were instead content to pick off the loose ball, with the captain cutting fast bowler Mark Wood and off-driving Stuart Broad for four apiece. Meanwhile Amla’s trademark wristy flick off James Anderson gave him a boundary and he raised South Africa’s 200 with a delicate swept four against off-spinner Moeen Ali.
But closing in on what would have been his 27th Test century and seventh against England, Amla-who made 78 in the first innings-fell 13 short this time around. Trying to whip left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, whom he’d earlier hit for a straight six to complete his fifty, Amla was struck on the pad as he went down the pitch Umpire Paul Reiffel, the former Australia seamer rejected the lbw appeal but England reviewed his decision and, with replays showing the ball straightening into middle stump, Amla-who made South Africa’s Test record 311 not out against England at The Oval in 2012 — was out.
It was the end of a near five-hour innings of 180 balls including 14 fours and that lone six. South Africa, well beaten by 211 runs in the first of a four-match series at Lord’s last week-a match du Plessis missed following the birth of his first child-resumed Sunday on 75 for one. They were already 205 runs ahead with three days left in the game. Elgar was 38 not out and Amla 23 not out. James Anderson, who took five for 72 in South Africa’s first innings 335 — the seventh Test five-for recorded by England’s alltime leading wicket-taker at Trent Bridge-beat Elgar’s outside edge.—AFP