Moeen fifty takes England 360 in front

07 August, 2017, 01:14 | Author: Laura Christensen

It was an end result many would have anticipated heading to Old Trafford on Sunday but, under mostly leaden Manchester skies, the Proteas made the most of the conditions to claw their way back into contention until Moeen's morale-sapping contribution.

By that point England's advantage appeared decisive, with Joe Root (49) again to the fore, given the previous highest-successful run chase on the ground is the 294-4 scored by England against New Zealand in 2008.

By the close of the second day, the hosts had pushed South Africa to the brink of surrender in the series.

Moeen made South Africa pay for Dean Elgar dropping him on 15 when a low slip chance off Keshav Maharaj did not stick.

England remain strong favourites to win the fourth cricket test against South Africa after Moeen Ali's late strokeplay arrested their second innings slide.

The all-rounder - who starred with the ball to finish off the third Test with a hat-trick - smashed an unbeaten 67 from 59 balls including three sixes as England closed day three 360 ahead on 224-8.

CSA has said that a final decision will be announced after the England series, which ends on August 8.

Moeen went on the counter - going to fifty with his second six off the spinner, which he sent onto the England balcony where it was caught by a smiling Bairstow.

The visitors added just six runs to their overnight total of 220 for nine before Stuart Broad claimed the final wicket, thus denying James Anderson the five-wicket haul that the home crowd desired.

Knowing the importance of a good start, Faf du Plessis gave Morne Morkel an eight-over spell up front that yielded the wickets of Alastair Cook and Tom Westley.

Olivier, who also dismissed Bairstow, ended the day with fine figures of 3 for 38 but that was scant consolation to his side.

It took England 22 deliveries to take the 10th wicket, for the addition of six runs, when number 11 Olivier mishooked Broad for a steepling catch to Jonny Bairstow.

Bavuma (46) misjudged by leaving a ball which cut back in to take his off-stump.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said that they have not been contacted by Cricket South Africa and won't entertain any offers until the ongoing four-Test series against the Proteas concludes on Tuesday.


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