Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla scored half-centuries as South Africa progressed to 160-3 at lunch on day three at Trent Bridge. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Proteas will be thrilled with the watchful efforts of Elgar and Amla early on day three. Thanks to that 135-run partnership South Africa have extended their lead to 290 runs and ultimately strengthened their hold on this contest.
England fought back to claim two wickets in the 20-minute period before lunch. And yet, the hosts may come to lament the missed chances that allowed the Proteas to dominate for much of the session.
The ball moved around during the first hour of play, and both Elgar and Amla were fortunate that several edges did not go to hand. Amla, then on 25, was particularly lucky after a nick behind was given not out.
Stuart Broad didn’t appear completely convinced and captain Joe Root opted not to review the decision. Unfortunately for the hosts, replays confirmed that the ball had found the edge and carried to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. Two overs later, Elgar, then on 55, flashed at a full delivery and was put down by Jimmy Anderson at gully.
Elgar and Amla were more attacking in approach during the second hour of play. Amla recorded his second 50 of the Test when he hit spinner Liam Dawson for six.
Ben Stokes’ ploy to unsettle the pair with a series of short balls paid dividends shortly before the break. Elgar hooked at a climbing delivery and only succeeded in offering the fielder on the on side a simple catch.
The reintroduction of Anderson was equally effective. England’s premier bowler found the edge of Quinton de Kock’s bat, and suddenly the hosts had a reason to celebrate.
That said, South Africa will begin the second session in a position of strength. While batting has not been easy on this pitch, one would expect South Africa to extend their lead to 400-plus later today.
SA 335 (1st innings) – Hashim Amla 78, Quinton de Kock 68, Vernon Philander 54, James Anderson 5-72
England 205 (1st innings) – Joe Root 78, Jonny Bairstow 45, Keshav Maharaj 3-21, Chris Morris 3-38
SA 160–3 (2nd innings) – Dean Elgar 80, Hashim Amla 61 not out, James Anderson 2-32
South Africa lead by 290 runs
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