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ENG v SA, 3rd Test Day 3 Review: England take giant strides on a rain marred day

Rain washed away more than half of the Day 3 but England has set themselves up nicely in this Test.

England v South Africa
Rain stops play during Day Three of the 3rd Investec Test match. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Most of the damage was inflicted on Day 2 but England still needed to get those last two South African wickets as quickly as possible. Temba Bavuma resumed batting on his overnight score 34 and went on to raise his 8th Test half century before he became Roland-Jones’ fifth wicket. The visitors conceded a huge first innings lead of 178 and it was England’s turn to pile on the misery.

Roland-Jones picks 5

Bavuma found an ally in Morkel, who hung around and added 47 vital runs with Bavuma for the 9th wicket. Anderson ended his resistance when he got him caught by Cook at first slip for 17. Philander, who has spent most of the time away from the field in this Test due to a stomach problem, was brave to walk out to bat at No. 11 for the Proteas. He remained unbeaten on 10 as Bavuma fell for 52, feeling for an outgoing delivery from debutant Roland-Jones. The 29-year old led the English team off the field, returning with a memorable 5/57 besides getting a useful run-a-ball 25 with the bat. He is the first English bowler to grab a five-wicket haul on debut since 2009.

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Jennings fights hard, Westley fluent

England’s next objective was to bat the visitors out of the game. Morne Morkel brought life into the South African camp by sending Cook back early for 7. It was the 11th time that the tall fast bowler got the better of the former English captain in Tests. A nervous Jennings, who has 44 runs in 5 innings this summer so far, rode his luck to remain unbeaten on 34 when stumps were drawn after heavy rain prevented any play post 3 PM. He was dropped on 6 by Dean Elgar in the slips and, later, wisely used a review to survive an LBW on 33. This is a make or break innings for the young opener. He must utilize the start that he has got and cash in on it tomorrow morning, though he will have to start from scratch on Day 4. He will have debutant Tom Westley for company who is unbeaten on a spry 28.

England are 252 runs ahead with two days play left in the game. Even a novice would suggest that there is enough time for the hosts to push for a win but forecast for the next two days isn’t great. England needs to keep that into account in an attempt to get an unassailable lead before the final Test in Manchester.

Brief Scores

England – 353 & 74 for 1 (Keaton Jennings 34*, Tom Westley 28*, Morne Morkel 1/20).

South Africa – 175 all out (Temba Bavuma 52, Toby Roland-Jones 5/57, James Anderson 3/25).

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