Kagiso Rabada finished with figures of 4-92 as the Proteas bowled England for 362, with the Proteas going into lunch on 12-1.
When England were on 312-9, the Proteas probably thought they were just ahead in the game. But Jonny Bairstow single-handedly changed that with 99, before James Anderson, bowling from the newly-named James Anderson end, trapped Dean Elgar lbw in the third delivery of the Proteas’ innings.
It was a superb knock from Bairstow, who started the day on 37 and decided to unleash from the onset as he ran out of batting partners. He was cruelly denied what would’ve been a fourth Test century, after Keshav Maharaj trapped him lbw as he tried to sweep his way to three figures, which spelled the end of the innings.
On a relatively clear morning in Manchester, England began the day on 260-6, this after Rabada took the crucial wicket of Ben Stokes for 58 on the penultimate over of day one. Rabada and Morne Morkel started well enough as two runs came off the first 3.5 overs of the session. A clip off the pads for four from Bairstow a ball later was the start of an onslaught from the wicketkeeper.
Toby Roland-Jones attempted to follow suit, but he would be the first to fall as he skewed a cover drive into the hands of Temba Bavuma to walk back for four.
Mooen Ali, coming in at No 9, then wasted little time as he struck three boundaries off his first 10 balls. Like Roland-Jones though, the attacking mindset got the better of him, and Rabada had his fourth as the paceman nipped one off the surface which Moeen could only edge to Faf du Plessis at second slip, departing for 14 off 11 balls.
Seven balls later and Stuart Broad was gone too. Morkel got a thoroughly-deserved second wicket, as a full, straight delivery crashed on to Broad’s off-stump to walk for seven.
At 312-9, the Proteas would’ve considered that job well done, but Bairstow had other ideas as Anderson watched from the other end. The next nine overs saw 50 runs scored, with Anderson (4) needing to face only 15 balls, in what was a clever and effective spell of batting from Bairstow.
Bairstow went from 80 to 94 in a space of four balls as he smacked two fours and a six off Duanne Olivier. As Bairstow approached 99, the nerves were there as he looked to bring up what would have been a well-deserved ton. Instead, Maharaj picked up a well-deserved second wicket to finish with 2-58 and wrap up the innings.
A tricky four-over period awaited Elgar and Heino Kuhn before lunch, but the in-form Elgar couldn’t hang around. Anderson pinned Elgar on the pads, and he didn’t bother reviewing it to walk for a duck. Kuhn (4) and Hashim Amla (6) lasted the rest of the session, and they’ll go in after lunch on 12-1.
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