With little rain expected on day four, the Proteas are going to have to dig deep to stay in the third Test at The Oval.
Rain came to the Proteas’ aid on day three as half of the day was wiped out to leave England on 74-1, 252 runs ahead. It means that England are expected to bat for roughly half the day on day four before declaring.
It also means that the bowlers are going to have to be more disciplined than ever, for the more they can tie down the English batsmen, the longer England are going to want to bat to feel comfortable with the amount of runs they have, and the more chance the Proteas are going to have of getting something out of this contest.
The visitors did well to eventually get to 175 all out after they went into the day on 126-8, thanks to Temba Bavuma’s half-century and supporting roles from Kagiso Rabada (32) and Morne Morkel (17).
Morkel found an early breakthrough to see off Alastair Cook for a record-extending 11th time in his career, but Keaton Jennings (36) and Tom Westley (28) held firm, and the inexperienced pair will both want to show that they belong in the English setup by carrying on from where they left off.
The Proteas will hope that the rain gave Vernon Philander enough time to recuperate from his viral infection and come out firing, and if they can somehow restrict England to a lead of 350 or less, then they will still be in this contest.
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