El­gar, Bavuma hold up Eng­land vic­tory charge

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Lon­don, UK - Eng­land will re­turn on the fi­nal day of The Oval's 100th Test on Mon­day in need of six more wick­ets to take an unas­sail­able 2-1 se­ries lead af­ter two quick wick­ets from Ben Stokes rocked South Africa's hopes of sal­vaging a draw from the third Test on Sun­day.

Stokes (2-29) dis­missed Quin­ton de Kock (5) and skip­per Faf du Plessis (0) with suc­ces­sive balls to re­duce the Proteas to 52 for four af­ter Eng­land de­clared on 313-8, set­ting the tourists a vic­tory tar­get of 492 on day four.

Dean El­gar (72 not out), dropped on nine, and Temba Bavuma (16 not out) stopped the rot with an un­bro­ken stand of 65 but at stumps South Africa was still 374 runs be­hind, clos­ing on 117 for four.

With the high­est suc­cess­ful run chase in Test cricket at The Oval re­mains the 263 for nine scored by Eng­land against Aus­tralia in 1902, South Africa faces a up­hill task af­ter debu­tant Tom West­ley (59), Joe Root (50) and Jonny Bairstow (63) struck fifties in the hosts' sec­ond in­nings on Sun­day.

South Africa claimed just one wicket be­fore lunch as Eng­land built on its overnight 74 for one - that of Keaton Jen­nings (48), who gloved a sur­prise bouncer from Kag­iso Rabada to Chris Mor­ris in the gully, end­ing a sec­ond-wicket stand of 62.

West­ley was stumped by a dis­tance com­ing down the track to Ke­shav Ma­haraj (3-50) and Root top-edged the spin­ner hav­ing be­come only the third English­man to score a fifty in nine con­sec­u­tive Tests.

David Malan (10) fell lbw to Mor­ris on re­view - Eng­land's lead 380 at that point - and the plat­form al­lowed Bairstow and Stokes (31) free­dom to at­tack South Africa at will.

Stokes fell two balls af­ter launch­ing Mor­ris for six into the stands at mid­wicket, bowled, and Moeen Ali (eight) was run out by a Bavuma di­rect hit.

The dec­la­ra­tion fi­nally came when Bairstow was caught at the sec­ond at­tempt by Rabada at long off - the wick­et­keeper com­plet­ing his in­nings with a limp.

South Africa's re­ply was quickly in trou­ble even af­ter Jen­nings dropped El­gar at third slip off James An­der­son be­fore he had reached dou­ble fig­ures.

Eng­land did break through in the fol­low­ing over when Stu­art Broad bowled Heino Kuhn. Roland-Jones dis­missed Hashim Amla (five) for the sec­ond time in the match and Stokes’ dou­ble blow left the Proteas a huge moun­tain to climb.

El­gar, reached his ninth fifty in 38 Tests off 77 balls and along with Bavuma bat­tled on af­ter post­ing their fifty stand off 86 balls.


South Africa's Dean El­gar bats on the fourth day against Eng­land


Eng­land's Ben Stokes cel­e­brates af­ter tak­ing a wicket

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