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undergroundnewsroom.com December 15, 2017


England build a substantial lead against South Africa in Manchester Test

07 August 2017, 01:12 | Nina Mathis

South Africa once again disappointed with the bat and lost nine wickets on day two. Earlier, Jonny Bairstow was unlucky to be dismissed at 99 but his innings anchored England to a total of 362. During the interval, England made a clear decision to break the shackles, and although Jonny Bairstow was caught at deep backward square-leg to give Olivier a third victim, Moeen was able to continue the assault thanks to Elgar's second drop - this time off Maharaj.

Moeen Ali's dazzling half-century means South Africa will have to make history to earn a series-levelling victory in the fourth Test, at Old Trafford. He picked up the wicket of Dean Elgar for a duck before lunch, trapping the South African opener lbw with just his third delivery.

Despite being set for a morale-boosting Test victory over South Africa, selectors will be anxious about the batting line-up with just three Tests against a depleted West Indies to come before they travel to Australia for the biggest Test series of them all against Australia.

Ali, coming in at No. 8, counterattacked convincingly, hitting eight fours and three sixes in his 67 from just 59 balls.

Anderson nevertheless finished with 4 for 38 in 17 overs, his best Test figures at Old Trafford, with Broad's three-wicket haul taking him to a career tally of 378, above the great Malcolm Marshall (376) in the all-time wicket-taker's list, with Sir Ian Botham, on 383, now within striking range.

But Moeen took the game to the left-arm spinner, putting on a 58-run partnership with Toby Roland-Jones and eliminating the concern over the rough with positive footwork.

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The current contract of South Africa head coach Russell Domingo expires at the end of this tour.

Morne Morkel was luckless yet terrific right through the series.

Another individual who may find his involvement with England end with the series, temporarily at least, is Keaton Jennings.

England's advantage in the final test was built on its 136-run first-innings advantage.

Morkel claimed his first wicket five balls later when Alastair Cook drove and edged to be caught in the gully for 10.

The game will resume with neither side decisively ahead, but there is intrigue off the field too after England's bowling coach emerged as a candidate for the top job in the away dressing room.



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