Excellent halftons as SA tighten screws on England
THE three most senior South African batsmen, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis, registered excellent halfcenturies in contrasting style yesterday as the tourists tightened the screws on England and stretched the overall lead to a comprehensive 473 on the third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge.
South Africa smashed 343 for nine before Du Plessis declared the innings closed and gave the South African pace attack a fourover spell in which to target the weary England openers.
Keaton Jennings survived the fateful finger of umpire Paul Reiffel when a DRSreferral showed that the ball from Morné Morkel would have cleared his middle stump when on 0 and the decision was overturned.
Alistair Cook and Jennings survived a testing spell as their technique and temperament were scrutinised by both Morkel and Vernon Philander.
Both moved the ball appreciably and launched at least three vociferous appeals. Only height saved the England batsmen.
England limped to 1 without loss at the close yesterday. Earlier, Amla underlined his credentials as a worldclass batsman with a classy 87.
Amla did not fall into the trap of attempting ambitious hook shots off the pace quartet, and handled the short stuff produced by Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad very well.
Elgar played the dual role of accumulator and boundary basher with distinction. The lefthanded opener struck 80 off 136 with 12 fours before a poor choice of shot denied him what would have been a welldeserved ton.
Du Plessis was an expert judge of when to defend and when to attack.
He played superbly, slamming 63 off 128 balls with nine fours before Stokes trapped him in front with a delivery that went through at ankle height. His late square drives and his driving past extra cover were pure eye candy.
Vernon Philander unleashed his bat on the bowling attack when South Africa wanted quick runs to declare before the close. He hammered an entertaining 42 off 75 balls that saw three fours and two successive sixes. — SuperSport.