England went into tea on day three against the Proteas at Lord’s on 48-0, as they built up a lead of 145 runs.
It goes from bad to worse for the Proteas. If the news that Kagiso Rabada has been banned for the second Test at Trent Bridge isn’t bad enough, then Vernon Philander’s injury is. Despite hitting a fifty, Philander injured his hand from a James Anderson delivery which nipped off the seam, and he hasn’t been on the field since.
It’s left Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada to do the bulk of the work, and so far it’s been tough going. England went into their second innings boasting a 97-run lead, and they’ve built on that without losing any wickets.
The Proteas went into the morning session on 214-5, and despite losing Temba Bavuma (59) and Kagiso Rabada (27) early on, Quinton de Kock pillaged the second-fastest fifty at Lord’s, taking only 36 balls to do so. He departed just before the break, leaving Philander to score as many runs as possible to get close to England’s 458.
And he did a pretty good job of it. Going into the second session on 323-8, they added 38 more runs to their total, with Philander scoring the bulk of those runs to notch up a sixth Test half-century. Morne Morkel only scored two of the 24 runs the tenth-wicket stand produced, but Philander would be the last to fall. He was bowled by Moeen Ali, with the off-spinner continuing his fine all-round display in this match with figures of 4-59.
It was a cautious start from Alastair Cook (31) and Keaton Jennings (16), with the commentators believing that 250-odd would be more than enough to defend. With time on their side, the pair strode to a 48-run stand in the 17 overs they had before tea was called, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Morkel and Keshav Maharaj thought they both had Cook lbw. The umpires didn’t think so, and the resultant reviews showed they were both outside the line.
So no reviews left for the tourists, and it’s just another factor counting against Dean Elgar and his men, as they look to work themselves back into the game with a few wickets in the final session. What might come as some good news is that Philander is back in the dressing room, but it’s yet to be established whether he’s fit to return to the field. X-rays showed no fractures, but his hand is swollen and he can’t grip the ball.
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