Fast bowler Steven Finn believes England need to be patient if they want to make the most of the position they’re in and make it 1-0 in the series.
Finn’s 3-27 on day four of the first Test at Kingsmead has put England in control going into the final day, and his performance, which saw him claim the wickets of Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis, was all the more remarkable considering he wasn’t a part of the original touring squad.
The 26-year-old was forced to sit out of the series in Pakistan due to a foot injury, and he wasn’t expected to be fit in time for the Proteas. But a swift recovery has seen him return as a vital cog in England’s fast-bowling lineup, especially with James Anderson sitting out through an injury of his own.
He believes it was patience that put his side in a commanding position on Tuesday, with more of the same needed on the final day.
‘We’re in a fantastic position to try and press home for that victory,’ he said. ‘The rewards we got were born through patience and hard work. We back ourselves to get these wickets. We have to create chances and half chances. We didn’t take one of those half chances unfortunately but it doesn’t matter who gets them.’
The Proteas started positively thanks to Elgar and Stiaan van Zyl, before Ben Stokes settled English nerves by bowling Van Zyl for 33. Finn took over from there, sending Amla and Elgar back to the hut in successive overs after tea, before the late removal of Du Plessis.
The prize scalp on Wednesday will be De Villiers, who could have been dismissed late on if it weren’t for a missed stumping by Jonny Bairstow.
‘De Villiers is a big wicket for us but, as long as we get six wickets, I don’t care,’ Finn said. ‘Patience is key. Before tea today we chased it. Everyone bar Stuart Broad was guilty of trying to make something happen with the new ball. If we come out again in the morning expecting to get wickets or trying too hard, that will go against us. If we are patient and let South Africa come to us, then we have a very good chance.’