Anderson leaves England eyeing South Africa series win

August 5, 2017 | By

Manchester: James Anderson took four wickets from the newly-named James Anderson End to put England in a commanding position against South Africa in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

South Africa were 220 for nine in reply to England’s first innings 362, featuring Jonny Bairstow’s 99, at stumps on the second day.

That left them 142 runs behind in a match they have to win to draw this four-match series 2-2.

Morne Morkel was 18 not out after Kagiso Rabada (23) was brilliantly caught by a diving Ben Stokes in the gully off Stuart Broad in what became the last ball of the day.

At stumps, paceman Anderson had figures of four wickets for 33 runs in 15 overs.

The 35-year-old was now in sight of his first five-wicket haul in a Test innings at Old Trafford.

But his seventh Test at Old Trafford was the first fixture since what was known as the Pavilion End had been renamed in honour of Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

– ‘Pressure’ –

“It was great today,” Anderson told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special. “We spoke about creating pressure…and getting as many balls (as possible) in the right area.”

Anderson needed just three balls to have Dean Elgar, fresh from a hundred in South Africa’s 239-run defeat in the third Test at The Oval, lbw for a duck in the first over of the Proteas’ reply.

Hashim Amla made a typically stylish 30.

But for the third time in as many innings he fell to Middlesex paceman Toby Roland-Jones, ‘strangled’ down the legside Saturday as wicket-keeper Bairstow claimed his 100th Test dismissal.

South Africa then sent in Temba Bavuma rather than Quinton de Kock, who had been batting at number four.

But with a sunny day and good pitch offering some of the best batting conditions this series, struggling opener Heino Kuhn and Bavuma got bogged down.

But two balls after a near run out, Kuhn edged off-spinner Moeen Ali to Stokes at slip on 24.

Bavuma battled hard for 46 before becoming the latest Proteas batsman to be out playing no shot this series, leaving an Anderson delivery that clipped the top of off stump.

And when the same over saw South Africa captain Faf du Plessis fall for 27 via an inside edge onto his stumps, Anderson had taken two for one in three balls to reduce the visitors to 132 for five.

Theunis de Bruyn (11) did not last long before an edged drive off Anderson was held by England captain Joe Root at second slip.

Ali followed up with his 20th wicket of the series, surpassing his previous best of 19 at home to India in 2014, when Keshav Maharaj was plumb lbw.

De Kock had dropped opposing wicket-keeper Bairstow on 53, a costly error, but there was no returning the favour when he nicked Broad to the Yorkshireman on 24.

Earlier, England resumed on 260 for six after winning the toss.

Bairstow was 33 not out, having survived a contentious umpire review for a slip catch when he’d made a mere four runs.

He was in fluent touch Saturday against an attack without injured pacemen Vernon Philander and Chris Morris.

But he should have gone for 53 only for de Kock to drop a low diving chance off Rabada.

– ‘Expletives’ –

Bairstow, with just last man Anderson for company, cashed in amid a blizzard of boundaries that included a straight six off Duanne Olivier.

But in sight of what would have been a fourth Test century, Bairstow was lbw trying to sweep left-arm spinner Maharaj.

Bairstow was the first England batsman out for 99 in a Test match since Kevin Pietersen against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2010.

“There were a few expletives after I got out,” Bairstow told Sky Sports. “I was desperately disappointed not to chalk up another hundred in Test cricket.”

Maharaj, who took an economical two for 48 in 30.4 overs, added: “I’m pleased on a personal note but it’s unfortunate we’re 2-1 down in the series. Hopefully we can salvage that tomorrow.”


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