England Trail South Africa

England Trail South Africa

England Trail South Africa: They will start day five on 52 for three hoping for either an intervention from the weather or a 90-over rearguard led by Joe Root and James Taylor (both 19no). In a country where the highest successful fourth-innings chase is 336, made by Australia in 1950, and a venue where the record is 251 (made in the tainted Hansie Cronje Test of 2000), AB de Villiers appeared overly cautious in leaving his declaration until rain arrived in the evening session. But having allowed Hashim Amla (96) and Temba Bavuma (78no) to bat on, his side still finished the day heavily in credit.

England began their innings in less-than-perfect conditions, with floodlights on under murky skies, and were soon in big trouble. James Anderson has had a series to forget, missing the opener through injury then struggling for rhythm and – according to De Villiers. While England saw their hopes of victory recede as time went on, the lack of tempo from the batsmen was hard to understand. The England attack bowled diligently to defensive fields and, for the most part, Amla and Bavuma settled for gentle accumulation. England trail South Africa by 329 runs with 7 wickets remaining in the game.

England Trail South Africa

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