Ricochet News

Proteas hope to water England’s flame on day four of second Test

By Marc Jacobson - Jul 17, 2017
Proteas hope to water England’s flame on day four of second Test

South Africa has ascended to a comfortable platform heading into the fourth day of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge, resuming again on Monday (12:00 SA time).

After suffering a horrid 211-run loss at the hands of the English in the first Test, the Proteas have evidently regrouped and opted to turn their disastrous tour to Britain around, when they played the second Test to their own destined potential.

After taking a 130-run lead after the first two innings’, the Proteas extended the stretch to a mammoth 473-run lead on day three, when their patience in the middle took them to 343/9 dec.

Not to mention though, that their last three wickets (Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj and Chris Morris) were lost to reckless slogging, due to their urgency for bowling strike at the end of day three’s play.

Before smashing two sixes in a row, Philander up-edged a ball to be caught out for 42, which then saw South Africa’s batting proceedings declared.

The Proteas then struck hard with the ball in their short stint of four overs at the close-of-play when Morne Morkel and Philander peppered England’s openers, Alastair Cook and South African-born Keaton Jennings, to mark a statement heading into the fourth day.

The four overs were eventful, with the very first ball to Cook being given out for an LBW by Morkel’s over-swing delivery, which was then overturned by review.

The following balls by both opening bowlers were aggressive and highly-stringent, which beat the English batsmen all-ends-up; but day four’s proceedings will define how the match unfolds in England’s monumental 474-target chase.

“It’s going to be hard work to get the 10 wickets, and that is perfect for us; that is what our bowlers are looking forward to,” Proteas opening batsman, Dean Elgar, said after the day’s play.

“We don’t want an easy Test victory; it has to be hard work to win a test match. We are excited for tomorrow,” Elgar said.

“I’d like to say everyone (has a role to play) but the new ball is massive for us. We saw in the short four overs that we had this evening that there is still a lot in the wicket. We have bowlers who can exploit the conditions off the wicket.”

Lauding his bowlers, Elgar mentioned that their bowlers contributed well in England’s first batting innings, when the home side were knocked off for a meek 205 all out, with Morris and Maharaj each taking three wickets apiece, and Morkel and Philander taking two apiece.

“Throughout our first innings of bowling a lot of the bowlers contributed. It is exciting to see, it shows you that the guys are hungry and they want to perform, ball in hand or bat in hand, they want to do the job,” Elgar commented.

In terms of batting, Elgar who scored 80 for the Proteas in their second innings, hopes the wicket deteriorates more into South Africa’s favour on day four, especially after him and Hashim Amla (87) endured a tricky turn of seam against England’s pacers on the opening stages of day three.

“I hope it gets a lot tougher tomorrow, It was quite challenging, especially this morning with overhead conditions, the ball moving around a bit and facing world-class seamers who are good at exploiting swing bowling,” Elgar said.

“It was hard graft for myself and Hash (Amla), we didn’t score quickly throughout the day but that is the nature of the game. It is slowing up and hopefully the wicket deteriorates in our favour tomorrow.”  

Image: Morne Morkel appealing for his LBW wicket at the closing stages which was overturned.