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Twitter Reactions: South Africa gasp for survival in stop-start day at Port Elizabeth

Joe Root chipped in with four wickets to strengthen England's position in the contest.

Joe Root
Joe Root. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Going into the last day of the Port Elizabeth Test, South Africa are well and truly in dire straits. Even as England look favourites to win the penultimate match of the series, it seems only the rain gods could save the home team from a defeat. At the close of play on day four at the St George’s Park, the Proteas are trailing by 188 runs with four wickets left in their second innings.

England strangle the hosts

Only 13.5 overs were possible in the first session as rain interrupted play. But those much time was enough for the Brits to inflict more mayhem in the Proteas camp. To start with, South Africa lost their last four wickets in 4.4 overs, adding only a solitary run to their overnight score. Stuart Broad ripped through the tail and finished with three wickets. Left-armer Sam Curran got the other wicket.

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Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock added 52 runs for the seventh wicket, but couldn’t carry on with the good work on the fourth day’s morning. The hosts were bowled out for 209 and England racked up a lead of 290 runs. It wasn’t a surprise that the Brits enforced a follow on. Even the second session saw the heavens opening up. But there was no stopping the visitors in the 20.4 overs of play.

Root wreaks havoc

After being made to follow on, the hosts kept going down the barrel. Mark Wood pinned Dean Elgar and Zubayr Hamza to jolt the Proteas. From there on, skipper Joe Root started entangling the South African batters with his part-time off-breaks. He trapped Pieter Malan in front to pick his first wicket. Rassie van der Dussen became his second victim after which Root got rid of Quinton de Kock.

With half their batting back to the hut, the hosts had a trail of 216 runs in front of them. Faf du Plessis, at the other end, tried to put his head down. He ground hard for 123 balls and mustered 36 runs. Just when he was set to end the day unbeaten, Root found his inside-edge, caught by Ollie Pope. Faf reviewed it, but to no avail. Philander and Keshav Maharaj played out the remaining 10 overs.

Here’s how Twitterati reacted to the day’s play: –

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