• England turn the screws on Proteas

    England moved to 426-8 at tea on day two of the third Test against the Proteas at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.

    Resuming on 335-4 after the tea break, the tourists’ dominance continued on the back of centuries from Ben Stokes and batsman Ollie Pope.

    The ton marked the ninth of Stokes’ Test career – and third against South Africa. He also welcomed 4,000 runs in the longest format of the international game. He was eventually dismissed by debutant Dane Paterson, who relished a maiden Test wicket.

    Pope continued, successfully negotiating and navigating the so-called nervous 90s to graduate to a maiden Test century. His square drives were exquisite – and a confident whip wide of mid-on heralded the arrival of three figures.

    The South African seamers were collectively ineffective on flat, slow pitch. Spinner Keshav Maharaj extracted reasonable turn, capping the ‘soft’ dismissal of wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and ending an aggressive cameo from all-rounder Sam Curran. Maharaj has bowled 50-plus of the innings’ near 150 overs.

    Earlier, South Africa were jolted by fast bowler Kagiso Rabada’s suspension. He is still bowling in this match, but has been banned from the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg later this month. Rabada’s suspension came after Thursday’s overzealous celebration of England captain Joe Root’s dismissal.

    The Proteas have won 13 and lost 12 Tests at St George’s Park. They’ve also shared five draws. The last Test at the Port Elizabeth venue was in February 2019, when Sri Lanka beat South Africa inside three days.

    This four-Test series is locked 1-1. The Proteas won the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion inside four days. England triumphed late on the fifth day in the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town. The Wanderers in Johannesburg will host the fourth and final Test later this month.

    News: Rabada banned for fourth Test

    South Africa: Dean Elgar, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson.

    England: Zak Crawley, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood.


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