Sunday, July 09, 2017

Lords. Day Three.

England made hard work of cleaning up the South African tail yesterday with a surprisingly poor spell from Stuart Broad and with Mark Wood looking pretty lack-lustre. Is Liam Dawson really what England need as their main spinner? - Mo was far superior taking a well-earned fourfer! (He is now one of the fastest all-rounders of all time to 100 wickets and 2,000 runs in Test Cricket!)
Alastair Cook in action.
Eventually, England did the business and extended their lead to 216 runs having nine wickets in hand and with former skipper, Alastair Cook, looking in good form. Jennings was again, only moderate at the top of the order but Gary Ballance helped Cook out and looked comfortable at the crease.

This wicket was showing more of the oddities and quirks evidenced on the day before and batting quickly did not look to be much of an option. At this slow scoring pace, England will be looking to bat until the tea interval and hope that four sessions will leave enough time to bowl S. Africa out.
If England can force the pace a little and gain a lead of, say, 350 to 370 a little bit earlier than that and I think that the declaration will have to come at that stage.

Sides do not make 400 to win on final day pitches - even with an extra session left over from the day before! On this one, I truly think that anything over 300 would be too big an ask for the visitors.