ENG­LAND FACES UP­HILL TASK TO SAVE TEST

Amla, El­gar and du Plessis help South Africa set a vic­tory tar­get of 474

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Not­ting­ham, UK - Hashim Amla (87) helped South Africa pile on the runs to leave Eng­land fac­ing what would be a record-break­ing chase in the sec­ond Test at Trent Bridge on Sun­day.

South Africa set Eng­land 474 to win af­ter declar­ing its sec­ond in­nings on 343 for nine late on the third day. The most made by any side to win in the fourth in­nings of a Test is the West Indies' 418 for seven against Aus­tralia at St John's, An­tigua, in 2002-03.

Eng­land was left with a tricky four overs to bat be­fore stumps. South Africa nearly had a wicket with the very first ball when Alas­tair Cook was given out lbw to Morne Morkel.

But Cook im­me­di­ately re­viewed um­pire Paul Reif­fel's de­ci­sion and, with re­plays in­di­cat­ing the ball would have gone over the stumps, the former Aus­tralia pace­man's ver­dict was over­turned.

Cook and fel­low left-handed opener Keaton Jen­nings both sur­vived at the close, with Eng­land one for none cour­tesy of a lone leg bye.

Ear­lier Amla, so of­ten a thorn in Eng­land's side, hit 87 - his sec­ond fifty of the match.

Opener Dean El­gar (80) and re­turn­ing cap­tain Faf du Plessis (63) also among the runs as the Proteas, 0-1 be­hind in the four-match se­ries, ce­mented its al­ready strong po­si­tion in the Test. South Africa re­sumed on 75 for one with El­gar (38 not out) and Amla (23 not out).

Stu­art Broad, on his Not­ting­hamshire home ground, then pro­duced an ex­cel­lent de­liv­ery to Amla, on 25, which car­ried to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow. Eng­land ap­pealed half-heart­edly and then de­cided against re­view­ing Aus­tralian um­pire Si­mon Fry's not out de­ci­sion, only for re­plays to in­di­cate there had been an edge.

El­gar had a re­prieve on 55 when a thick edge off Broad flew high to gully where James An­der­son, div­ing to his left, so nearly held a spec­tac­u­lar catch.

Eng­land even­tu­ally had a break­through when the painstak­ing El­gar took his eye off a Ben Stokes bouncer and tamely mis-hooked to An­der­son at back­ward square leg.

Amla clos­ing in on what would have been his 27th Test cen­tury and seventh against Eng­land fell 13 short.

Try­ing to whip left-arm spin­ner Liam Daw­son, whom he had ear­lier hit for a straight six to com­plete his 50, Amla was struck on the pad. Reif­fel re­jected the lbw ap­peal but Eng­land's re­view was suc­cess­ful. Amla's knock of 180 balls in­cluded 14 fours and one six.

Du Plessis saw his pa­tient vigil of 128 balls, in­clud­ing nine fours, end when he was lbw to Stokes with the new ball.

But with early cloud cover hav­ing given way to sunny blue skies, Ver­non Phi­lan­der (42) kept the runs com­ing with two slog-sweep sixes off suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies from Moeen Ali dur­ing his en­ter­tain­ing knock.

The off-spin­ner, who took four for 78, even­tu­ally caught and bowled Phi­lan­der to prompt du Plessis' dec­la­ra­tion.

Hashim Amla

Dean El­gar

Faf Du Plessis

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