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Joe Root shows class as South Africa come out fighting

06 August, 2017, 00:33 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Moeen Ali took away a stump from the ground after collecting a hat-trick in fantastic fashion

Jonny Bairstow made a dashing 99 before James Anderson struck from the newly-named James Anderson End to leave England well-placed in the fourth Test against South Africa at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Morne Morkel was 18 not out after Kagiso Rabada (23) was brilliantly caught by a diving Ben Stokes in the gully off Stuart Broad in what became the last ball of the day.

Earlier, Bairstow, resuming on 33 and with England looking to build on an overnight score of 260-6, thrilled the crowd and tormented South Africa with an irresistible combination of judgement, shot selection and execution.

A Root and Stokes partnership is always a threat for England and the pair were laying the foundations for a fruitful collaboration, putting on 43, before Olivier trapped the England skipper leg before.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis wants his batsmen to raise their game as they look to finish their lengthy tour of England with a flourish in the fourth Test cricket at Old Trafford today.

England also still has Moeen Ali, a handy batsman, to come as it seeks a second straight series win over South Africa, but its first at home over the Proteas since 1998.

In the end he went for 17, suicidally prodding at one from Duanne Olivier which seamed away and was easily taken by keeper Quinton de Kock. Yet with only seven balls remaining, the England all-rounder was beaten for pace by Rabada as he delivered a devilish yorker to clatter Stoke's stumps and send him packing for 58 from 96 balls.

Rabada collected 2-52 and Olivier 2-72.

England had laboured to bowl out the South Africans in the morning as Elgar continued his gutsy knock, although Toby Roland-Jones continued his fine debut by dismissing Temba Bavuma and Vernon Philander with successive balls. When Roland-Jones destroyed South Africa's order on the second afternoon, there looked to be no way back for the Proteas. Westley will be disappointed not go on from a start of 29 runs from 88 balls as wicketkeeper de Kock picked up his 100th dismissal in just his 23rd Test match.

England lead this four-match series 2-1.

For Root, his 5000 test runs have come at a fabulous rate: 57 tests and 105 innings, putting him among some outstanding names.

De Bruyn edged and Keaton Jennings could not hang onto a leaping effort in the gully off Anderson and then de Kock was spilled at slip by Stokes off Moeen.

The game proved just as one-sided as the previous two, with England winning at Lord's by 211 runs before losing at Trent Bridge by 340 runs.

The pacer, who has 10 wickets in the series, spent the second night of the Oval Test in hospital on a drip and was unable to bowl as he had to make back time he had spent off the pitch ill.

He scored all but four of the runs added with Anderson, and did so at better than a run a ball, as South Africa lost their heads in the field.



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