Ali puts Eng­land in sight of South Africa se­ries win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Moeen Ali’s dash­ing fifty all but put the fourth Test be­yond South Africa’s reach as Eng­land moved to­wards a se­ries win at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day. When rain ended the third’s play at 1615 GMT, Eng­land were 224 for eight in their sec­ond in­nings-a lead of 360 runs-with Ali un­beaten on 67.

South Africa al­ready needed to set a new ground record if they were to end this four­match se­ries all square at 2-2 as no side have made more in the fourth in­nings of a Test at Old Traf­ford to win than Eng­land’s 294 for four against New Zealand in 2008.

Ali made South Africa pay for Dean El­gar drop­ping him on 15 when a low slip chance off left-arm spin­ner Ke­shav Ma­haraj did not stick. He may come in at No 8 for Eng­land but off­spin­ner Ali-who ear­lier in this match took 20 wick­ets in a Test se­ries for the first time in his ca­reer-made his name with Worces­ter­shire as a top-or­der bats­man.

Ali, who bats left-handed, was es­pe­cially se­vere on Ma­haraj, hit­ting him for three re­sound­ing sixes. The sec­ond of those, a straight drive that saw Ali com­plete a 49-ball fifty was ‘caught’ on the Eng­land dress­in­groom bal­cony by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow to the de­light of the crowd.

Eng­land were bid­ding for a first home Test se­ries win over South Africa since 1998, with Joe Root seek­ing a vic­tory in his first Test se­ries as Eng­land cap­tain. South Africa re­sumed on 220 for nine and were soon all out for 226 when Stu­art Broad dis­missed last man Duanne Olivier. That gave Eng­land a healthy firstin­nings lead of 136. Olivier’s exit meant James An­der­son, Eng­land’s all-time lead­ing wick­et­taker-was de­nied a maiden five-wicket Test in­nings haul on his Lan­cashire home ground. But fig­ures of four for 38 in 17 overs gave An­der­son, who’d struck four times from the newly-named James An­der­son End on Satur­day, his best in­nings re­turn in seven Tests at Old Traf­ford.

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel then re­moved both Alastair Cook (10) and Tom West­ley (nine) with the aid of gully catches.

JEN­NINGS FAILS AGAIN

At lunch, Eng­land were 53 for two, with Keaton Jen­nings-dropped in the slips on nought — 17 not out. But South Africa-born Jen­nings was un­able to cash in on his re­prieve. The Durham left-han­der had added just one to his in­ter­val score when, he edged a cut off Kag­iso Rabada to first slip Hashim Amla.

Prior to yes­ter­day’s in­nings, there had been wide­spread spec­u­la­tion that the 25-year-old would be dropped for the start of Eng­land’s up­com­ing three-Test se­ries at home to the West Indies, which pre­cedes an Ashes tour of Aus­tralia.

Jen­nings-the 11th bats­man cho­sen as an Eng­land open­ing part­ner for Cook since for­mer cap­tain An­drew Strauss re­tired in 2012 — moved nearer the axe after to­talling just 127 runs in four Tests this se­ries at an av­er­age of 15.88.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.