Quinton de Kock coasted to the second-fastest 50 at Lord’s as he helped the Proteas to 323-8 by lunch on day three at Lord’s.
After closing on 214-5 on day two, the rest of the Proteas’ innings was always going to rest on the shoulders of Temba Bavuma and Quint0n de Kock. While Bavuma could only add 11 runs to his overnight total, Quinton de Kock was his brilliant, fluent best, and was one ball short of Kapi Dev’s fastest-ever half-century at Lord’s, a record which he achieved in 35 balls in 1982.
It was a significant moment in the match, for De Kock’s marauding innings was giving England fears that the Proteas could get close to their 458. That now looks unlikely, with Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj looking to get as many runs on the board as they can to keep themselves in the match.
Bavuma and Theunis de Bruyn put in an excellent shift last night to steer their side out of trouble after they were left stranded on 104-4. De Bruyn got 48 before departing in the penultimate over of day two, but Bavuma was hoping to push on and add to the 48 he was on.
Kagiso Rabada was there at the crease alongside Bavuma, and needed to put the previous evening’s scandal behind him, after he received the news that he would not be playing in the second Test, suspended for swearing at Ben Stokes in his send-off.
He looked in good touch as he raised his stock as a bowling all-rounder with 27. In the process, Bavuma struck an exquisite cut shot to bring up his seventh half-century. But as soon as Liam Dawson was introduced into the attack that was as far as Rabada got, as a healthy edge prompted a decent take behind the stumps from Jonny Bairstow.
The plan would’ve been to get through the final 12 overs before the new ball was introduced, but England managed to take another scalp in the 80th over, and Bavuma was the man to go. Moeen Ali took his third wicket as Bavuma edged one to first slip to walk back for a well-played 59.
And that’s when De Kock let loose, smacking 10 boundaries in what was an explosive 37 balls. De Kock showed time and time again last season that the Proteas have that threat lower down the order, but it was once again a case of whether he should be coming further up the order.
But then the key breakthrough, as De Kock slapped one straight to Ben Stokes off James Anderson, and faced the long walk back to the long room for 51. Maharaj (5) and Philander (21) held on till the break, with the visitors trailing by 135 runs.
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