STUMPS | England fight back on day three of the first Test against SA
England reached stumps of day three of the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion fighting back on 121/1 in their chase of the 376 target that South Africa set them.
At the close of play on Saturday‚ England were fighting back and had reduced the deficit to from 376 to 255 runs with Rory Burns showing good signs with a promising score of 77.
He was with Joe Denly in the middle on 10 and they will resume on Sunday morning looking to further frustrate the South African bowlers by piling on the runs.
Before Denly arrived on the crease‚ Burns shared a opening wicket partnership of 92 runs‚ including 14 boundaries‚ with Dom Sibley and they looked comfortable.
Sibley was removed by Keshav Maharaj who caught and bowled him about 30 minutes to the close of play in what turned out to be the only bowling success for SA in the second session.
It was an afternoon where South African fast bowlers in the form of Vernon Philander‚ Kagiso Rrabada‚ Dwaine Pretorius struggled to find the breakthrough on a wicket that was behaving.
During the second innings‚ the Proteas were ultimately bowled out for 272 during the second session with Rassie van der Dussen top scoring with 51 for his maiden Test half century and irrepressible Vernon Philander the next best batsman on 46.
Other notable contributors for SA with the bat were night watchman Anrich Nortje‚ who was twice floored by beamers from Jofra Archer on Friday‚ with 40 and Quinton de Kock with 34.
Dean Elgar chipped in with a useful 22 and skipper Faf du Plessis added 20 as SA put up a lead that may prove tricky for England to negotiate given the fact that they only managed 181 in their first innings.
The highlight for England on Saturday with ball was Archer‚ who was lucky to be on the field as he survived a ban for his two beamers on Nortje on Friday‚ for his third Test five wicket haul.