Proteas in pound seats

January 26, 2016
Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel

The Proteas need seven more wickets to win the fourth Test at Centurion and claim their first victory in 12 months.

England are on the ropes. Their chances of victory from this position are slim-to-none. They’re unlikely to save the Test considering the state of the pitch at Centurion. The variable bounce will make batting difficult on day five.

Thunderstorms are forecast for today. England will hope that the rain comes to their aid and results in a significant loss of time. By contrast, South Africa will hope that the weather stays away and they enjoy ample opportunity to bowl England out.

It will be interesting to see how AB de Villiers manages his bowling attack. Kyle Abbott sustained a hamstring injury earlier in the match, and his contribution in the fourth innings may be limited. De Villiers will be counting on Morné Morkel and Kagiso Rabada to do the bulk of the damage early on day five. Rabada needs one more scalp to claim his first 10-wicket haul in Test cricket.

However, if England come through the first session unscathed, they will grow in confidence. The South African spinners haven’t looked dangerous on this deck. What will also encourage England is the way Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma batted out an entire session on day four. Survival will be difficult, but not impossible.

For ball-by-ball commentary, click below:

SA 1st innings 475 – Quinton de Kock 129 not out, Stephen Cook 115, Hashim Amla 109, Ben Stokes 4-86
England 1st innings 342 – Alastair Cook 76, Joe Root 76, Moeen Ali 61, Kagiso Rabada 7-112
SA 2nd innings 248-5 declared– Hashim Amla 96, Temba Bavuma 78 not out, JP Duminy 29, James Anderson 3-47
England 2nd innings 52-3 – James Taylor 19 not out, Joe Root 19 not out, Kagiso Rabada 2-15, Morné Morkel 1-12
England need 330 runs to win

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