• Nortje strikes as England stretch lead

    Anrich Nortje’s spell of fiery fast bowling finally yielded reward but the Proteas continue to chase the game at tea on the third day of the second Test at Newlands, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

    England will sip on their afternoon tea with a lead of 155 as they moved to 109-2 after adding 57 runs in the middle session.

    Joe Denly and Dom Sibley were barely troubled as they went about their slow accumulation of runs. Despite favourable overhead conditions, the wicket offered little danger to the English pair as the Proteas pace attack struggled to create any doubt by exposing the variable bounce from the Wynberg End.

    That left spinner Keshav Maharaj to hold up an end as he adopted a round the wicket approach into the rough outside the right-handers leg stump.

    He did an admirable job with his 15 overs on the trot going for just 34 runs.

    The pace ‘assault’ from the other end, though, misfired especially with Vernon Philander well off his best until Nortje picked up a head of steam. He regularly hit the 150km/h as he looked to intimidate the Englishmen with his short bowling skills.

    It finally paid off albeit thanks to a bit of brilliance from Dwaine Pretorius at fine leg. The lanky allrounder steamed in to grab the ball centimetres off the ground after Denly skied a hook off of Nortje’s bowling.

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    That saw Denly depart for 31 and Joe Root arrive.

    The captain stood firm alongside Sibley until tea was called as England moved to 109-2.

    Their lead looks extremely healthy with former England star Kevin Pietersen suggesting a 300 run lead would be impossible for the Proteas. They are already halfway there.

    Photo: BackPagePix

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    Wade Pretorius