South Africa vs England, third Test day four: live score and latest updates

Luke Slater
The Telegraph
Ollie Pope took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Rassie van der Dussen - Getty Images Europe
Ollie Pope took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Rassie van der Dussen - Getty Images Europe

4:00PM

OVER 61: SA 97/6 (Philander 8* Maharaj 5*) 

Dom Bess, who has bowled 17 overs without a wicket (he took five in the first innings) returns to finish off the day. He remains wicketless at the end of the day. In fact there will be one more over as we've still got time before the scheduled close of play - as opposed to just getting the minimum number of overs in. Root will get one more then. 

3:56PM

OVER 60: SA 97/6 (Philander 8* Maharaj 5*) 

Maharaj playing back to Root coming around the wicket is just asking form an LBW. So far he's been okay but he was close to being out LBW a couple of overs ago. Still, he continues. Just a single in the end off Root's final over of the day, presuming England don't get one in the next over and ask for the extra 30 minutes...

3:53PM

OVER 59: SA 96/6 (Philander 8* Maharaj 4*) 

Maharaj to face Wood's express pace. He gets an outside edge for two through third man and then gets well forward to the next ball and takes a single. This has been an atrocious day for South Africa, batting-wise. They have, in total and over the course of two different innings, lost 10 wickets for 97 runs. 

Another chance down by Stokes! Philander plays a short ball behind square on the leg side and Stokes did not pick it up at all, the ball hitting him somewhere in the chest/abdomen/midriff. Insult to injury. England are in such a strong position here that it's unlikely to hurt for too long you would think. Two overs remaining. 

3:48PM

OVER 58: SA 93/6 (Philander 8* Maharaj 1*) 

Root will bowl until the close of play here, surely. Maharaj gets off the mark with a shot into the covers for one. Root lets himself down at the end of the over with a drag down which Philander latches onto, stroking it through square leg for four.  Mark Wood will get one more over, it seems. Three overs left after this. 

SA still trail by 197 runs. 

3:44PM

OVER 57: SA 88/6 (Philander 4* Maharaj 0*) 

Wood, bowling in the high 80s is persisting with a length that is short. Coming from around the wicket it is, generally, rising up to around Philander's armpit area. It might be worth trying to pitch it up every now and then, though. Break those stumps! Wood ends the over switching to over the wicket and bowling a bit fuller. Better. One wide from the over. 

3:41PM

OVER 56: SA 87/6 (Philander 4* Maharaj 0*) 

Spinner to spinner. Maharaj goes back to one that turns and hits him on the back pad. A half-hearted appeal from England and the umpire says no. With no reviews left that's the end of that one. Replays show it would have been umpires call on whether it was hitting or not, so had the umpire given it then it'd have been upheld - had SA reviewed it. Root bowls his 11th maiden in 16 overs. 

<span>Joe Root bowls</span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Joe Root bowls Credit: AP

3:37PM

OVER 55: SA 87/6 (Philander 4* Maharaj 0*) 

Wood rarely fails to entertain. He's attempting to winkle Philander out with short-pitched bowling here but it, perhaps, could be a bit more well directed. How much more play will we get? If England stick to the spinners then perhaps another 30-45 minutes. It's a maiden, anyway. 

3:33PM

OVER 54: SA 87/6 (Philander 4* Maharaj 0*) 

Just a single off Root's latest over. 15-10-20-4 his figures now. 

3:30PM

Root takes his fourth wicket

3:29PM

OVER 53: SA 86/6 (Philander 3* Maharaj 0*) 

Ooh! Sibley nearly takes another screamer at square leg! Philander nails a pull shot, the big man gets up, throws a right hand at it but it doesn't stick. Brilliant effort, though. It's all a bit frantic out there as Maharaj and Philander try and run two, they do in the end but it's close as Wood knocks down the stumps at the bowlers end but the chasing Maharaj is home by a foot or two. Philander off the mark, at least. 

3:26PM

OVER 52: SA 83/6 (Philander 0* Maharaj 0*) 

Four wickets for 19 for Joe Root! Root the destroyer. SA in all kinds of trouble now. It's very late in the day but might this match end today?

3:22PM

WICKET! Du Plessis b Root c Pope 36

Another catch close in off Root!  Du Plessis prods forward and it pops up to Pope. His fourth wicket! Umpire gives it out but SA review instantly...

Not sure what Du Plessis was hoping for there, he's clearly hit it.

<span>Credit: SKY SPORTS </span>
Credit: SKY SPORTS

And he's walking off the pitch as he sees the replay. SA lose a wicket and a review. FOW 83/6

3:20PM

OVER 51: SA 83/5 (Du Plessis 36* Philander 0*) 

No real danger for Philander until the final ball when he tries to play and then leave a short ball from Wood. Coming through at about shoulder height, it sounded like it hit something as the England players appeal confidently. Ump says no. Probably hit his shirt. Philander 0 off 13. 

3:15PM

OVER 50: SA 83/5 (Du Plessis 36* Philander 0*)

Well, well, well. Root is getting adventurous, bowling an attempted leg spinner to Du Plessis, who whacks the drag down through midwicket for four. It wasn't pretty. That boundary moves him to 36 off 119. Philander will have the strike against Wood, which is what England want. 

3:12PM

OVER 49: SA 79/5 (Du Plessis 32* Philander 0*)

Mark Wood returns in place of Dom Bess. Four or five overs of extreme pace, you'd think. Or until the light gets too dodgy. His figures aren't too bad, either. Two for 11 off five overs after going wicketless in the first innings.  Du Plessis gets his first runs for a little while, edging it along the ground through the vacant third slip position. 

<span>Mark Wood returns to bowl</span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Mark Wood returns to bowl Credit: AP

3:07PM

OVER 48: SA 74/5 (Du Plessis 27* Philander 0*)

Philander, the new man in, has a good look at Root this over. It's another maiden from the England skipper, Philander yet to get off the mark. Root's current bowling figures? 12-8-15-3. Tidy. 

3:04PM

OVER 47: SA 74/5 (Du Plessis 27* Philander 0*)

What if England had played like SA here? Can you imagine the rollicking they would (deservedly) be getting? Anyway, they haven't played this badly, they scored nearly 500 in the first innings and are five wickets away from winning two in a row to ensure they cannot lose the series. Excellent cricket. 

3:02PM

OVER 46: SA 74/5 (Du Plessis 27* Philander 0*)

A wicket maiden for Root leaves him with three for not very much, now his current best Test bowling performance. How many more will he get?

3:00PM

WICKET! De Kock b Root c Wood 3

De Kock has a big slash at one from Joe Root that's well outside off. It takes the outside edge and loops up in the air towards Mark Wood, backward of square, who times his jump perfectly and grabs it out of the air two-handed. Another brilliant catch. De Kock couldn't resist having a go at Root and he has paid the price. Poor shot selection. Not much foot movement, either. FOW 74/5

2:57PM

OVER 45: SA 74/4 (Du Plessis 27* De Kock 3*)

Bess has been fairly tight without threatening too much. It's not unfair to say that the majority of action has come from the arm of Root at the other end. Still, he's going at a shade over one an over. It's fairly gloomy out there but with two spinners on the light is not yet an issue. They should be able to get another hour or so in today, weather permitting. 

2:52PM

Love these photos of Pope's catch

<span>Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root Credit: Getty Images
<span>Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root</span> <span>Credit: REUTERS </span>
Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root Credit: REUTERS
<span>Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Ollie Pope catches Rassie van der Dussen of the bowling of Joe Root Credit: Reuters

2:50PM

OVER 44: SA 72/4 (Du Plessis 26* De Kock 2*)

Du Plessis gets some treatment from the physio and the umpires decide to call drinks. SA trail England by 218 runs. 

2:47PM

OVER 43: SA 72/4 (Du Plessis 26* De Kock 2*)

Another run to de Kock from Bess's latest over. Faf du Plessis has seen out 100 balls for 26 runs. He is digging in here, can de Kock - who scored a 50 in the first innings - provide him with any support? You can't see de Kock dead batting everything to the spinners. 

2:44PM

OVER 42: SA 71/4 (Du Plessis 26* De Kock 1*)

The first run off the bat for a few overs comes as de Kock gets off the mark with a single. The next four come from the bat of Du Plessis, who gets forward and thrashes a sweep through Pope's legs and towards the deep square leg boundary. Do South Africa need to be more positive here? Perhaps, but they are in so much trouble...

2:41PM

OVER 41: SA 66/4 (Du Plessis 22* De Kock 0*)

Van Der Dussen was having an awful time playing Joe Root around the wicket. The full balls turned him into an S. Anyway, Bess marches through another maiden. England applying great pressure with the spinners here. 

2:39PM

Pope takes a screamer

2:38PM

OVER 40: SA 66/4 (Du Plessis 22* de Kock 0*)

De Kock is the next man out. Bess and Root will like bowling to a left-hander here. Root certainly will with the amount of turn he's getting. That Pope catch really was brilliant, superb reactions with the ball behind him. Can't wait to see the photos of that one. Root bowling brilliantly here. 

2:36PM

WICKET! Van der Dussen b Root c Pope 10

Van der Dussen prods forward to one from Joe Root that pitches on a very good length, grips and turns... it takes the outside edge and onto his pads. Ollie Pope at short leg flings out a left arm and takes a(nother) sensational diving catch! England are racing to victory. FOW 66/4

2:33PM

OVER 39: SA 66/3 (Du Plessis 22* van der Dussen 10*)

Bess's turn to bowl a maiden. A bit of turn for the final ball of the over. SA remaining watchful at the moment - a little flurry of boundaries in the past 10 or so minutes aside. 

2:30PM

OVER 38: SA 66/3 (Du Plessis 22* van der Dussen 10*)

Root is racing through his overs. No run from this one, though. Root still looks the more threatening of the two spinners bowling at the moment. 

2:28PM

OVER 37: SA 66/3 (Du Plessis 22* van der Dussen 10*)

Du Plessis gets in on the act, dancing down the pitch and heaving Bess over long on. He plays out the rest of the over without scoring a run. It's definitely very interesting out there. 

2:26PM

OVER 36: SA 60/3 (Du Plessis 16* van der Dussen 10*)

Well. Van Der Dussen might be struggling to ones that are skidding on by he launches Root for six over deep square leg. A rank ball that was truly punished. 

2:21PM

Van der Dussen is given out LBW on-field

Van Der Dussen goes back to one from Root that skids on and he gets nowhere near it with the bat. SA review...

It's umpire's call on where it pitches. Looks like it could be marginal on whether it's hitting the stumps though. Yep, it's missing. RVDD survives. 

<span>Credit: Sky Sports Cricket </span>
Credit: Sky Sports Cricket

 

2:20PM

OVER 35: SA 54/3 (Du Plessis 16* van der Dussen 4*)

Another maiden from Bess but not much to report from it, really. 

2:18PM

OVER 34: SA 54/3 (Du Plessis  16* van der Dussen 4*)

Root keeps himself on, though, and bowls a maiden. Both spinners going at less than one run an over and combined figures of 1-12 from 15 overs. 

2:15PM

OVER 33: SA 54/3 (Du Plessis 16* van der Dussen 4*)

Du Plessis brings out a rare attacking shot, shuffling down the track and lofting Bess over the top towards cow corner for four runs. It wasn't particularly well timed but it was hit well enough to get there. I do wonder if it might be time for some Mark Wood action. Things still happening for the spinners, though nothing too dramatic. 

2:13PM

Time for Denners?

2:12PM

OVER 32: SA 50/3 (Du Plessis  12* van der Dussen 4*)

Joe Root does what part-timers do and drags one short which van der Dussen heaves through midwicket for four. Poor ball and punished. The no. 5 batsman is off the mark with that. It's also SA's 50 up. They need another 240 to make England bat again. 

2:10PM

OVER 31: SA 46/3 (Du Plessis 12* van der Dussen 0*)  

A maiden from Bess, his fifth in nine overs, having only gone for four runs in that time. Still wicketless, though, and Joe Root does look the greater threat here at the moment. 

2:07PM

England review...

Another big shout for LBW. Bess gets one past the bat of Du Plessis. It seemed optimistic. On-field decision is not out. If this goes wrong England will lose all their reviews. This looks an absolutely awful review. It would have at best been clipping a sixth stump on the leg side - sliding miles down. Decision upheld and England have no reviews left. 

2:06PM

OVER 30: SA 46/3 (Du Plessis 12* van der Dussen 0*)  

Root is bowling really well here and sneaks one past the defences of van der Dussen, who plays inside the line to one drifting away. It nearly, so nearly, clips the top of off stump. 

2:04PM

OVER 29: SA 46/3 (Malan 12* van der Dussen 0*)  

It is the other blondish off spinner this time, Dom Bess. Not Joe Root. He strays down leg and South Africa run a couple of byes. There has been little play today but still enough for England to take seven wickets. They need another seven to finish it off. 

2:01PM

OVER 28: SA 44/3 (Du Plessis  12* van der Dussen 0*)  

A wicket maiden in the end for Root. 

1:59PM

England review...

Root thinks he has vd Dussen LBW but the on-field umpire says no. England review straight away...near enough. It looked good to the eye but ball tracking shows that it's pitching outside off and bouncing over. NOT OUT. England lose a review. Lots of bounce from that one, though. 

<span>England lose their review</span> <span>Credit: SKY SPORTS </span>
England lose their review Credit: SKY SPORTS

1:58PM

Can England finish this off today?

The players are back out after tea. It was Root with the wicket, not Bess by the way. My mistake. The England captain will finish off the second half of his over bowling to Rassie van der Dussen. 

1:44PM

Root bags Malan

1:42PM

TEA: SA 44/3 (Du Plessis 12*)

They take tea with that wicket. There was a little spike as the ball past the bat but it wasn't conclusive enough to overturn the original decision. Here's what it looked like, make your own mind up. I think it looked like there was a little bit of contact. Oh, for Hotspot...

<span>Pieter Malan is given out - but did he hit the ball?</span> <span>Credit: SKY SPORTS CRICKET </span>
Pieter Malan is given out - but did he hit the ball? Credit: SKY SPORTS CRICKET

1:36PM

WICKET! Malan LBW Root 12

Big shout for LBW, looks close. The ball slides on and into Malan's pads. Given!

SA review...

I am not sure Malan has a hope in hell of being saved by the review here. Not for LBW anyway. There was a little trigger of Ultra Edge as the ball past the bat but the third umpire says it's not enough to overturn the on-field umpires's decision. The LBW decision is plumb, though and Malan has to march off. FOW 44/3

1:35PM

OVER 27: SA 44/2 (Malan 12* Du Plessis 12*)  

There is not a great deal of grip in the pitch at the moment so it'll have to be variation - natural or otherwise for Bess. You shall not pass is the message that Du Plessis's bat is giving out. Solid. 

1:32PM

OVER 26: SA 43/2 (Malan 11* Du Plessis 12*)  

It's not time for Mike Wood but it is time for Joe Root. Could be a change of ends for Bess? Not sure, let's see. Du Plessis tries to get forward but it leaps off the surface and raps him on the glove. There's a big shout for LBW off the final ball of the over but it's pretty optimistic as it almost certainly pitched outside leg stump. 

1:28PM

OVER 25: SA 43/2 (Malan 11* Du Plessis 12*)   

Malan gets into double figures with a wonderful drive down the ground for four. A bit too full from Stokes and he's punished by the opener, who, like Du Plessis is digging in for his team after they lost two early wickets. They have steadied the ship a little but. Stokes gets his bouncer out, Malan tries to avoid it but doesn't, getting hit on the shoulder. 

1:25PM

OVER 24: SA 39/2 (Malan 7* Du Plessis 12*)   

Just three fielders and the wicketkeeper in close for Bess. He's mixing it up a bit with some round-arm deliveries. Just the single from the over. Wonder if it's time for Wood to return from the other end?

1:21PM

OVER 23: SA 38/2 (Malan 6* Du Plessis 12*)   

Stokes gets through his fourth over without conceding a run - otherwise known as a maiden over. Du Plessis dead bats the last ball of the over, defending as if his life defended on it. Plenty of overs left in the day's play but will we get them all in? SA's run rate is pretty sluggish at the moment. 38 runs in 23 overs. 

1:16PM

OVER 22: SA 38/2 (Malan 6* Du Plessis 12*)    

Bess starts with a big full toss and Malan whacks it very firmly into the knee of Dominic Sibley at silly point. Ouch. Saved a few runs, though. Bess looks to be having fun out there with a few fielders around the bat. The last ball of the over is the opposite of the first - a much quicker ball that is dragged down and very leg-side. Du Plessie tries to swivel-pull, can't connect but they run a bye anyway. 

1:12PM

OVER 21: SA 36/2 (Malan 5* Du Plessis 12*)          

Stokes is gamely bounding in but lets Malan creep away from the strike by straying on to his pads and they trot a single to backward square. Du Plessis defends stoutly by not playing, getting in line and, when necessary, dropping his hands under the lifter tyat flirted with his glove. 

 

Thanks for your company. Luke Slater will be your guide for the rest of the day's play. 

1:09PM

OVER 20: SA 35/2 (Malan 4* Du Plessis 12*)         

Joe Root is very close at leg slip and on his knees, just like Marcus Trescothick for all those years at certifiable short gully. The ball is turning a lot but not rapidly and Du Plessis is happy to play it off the back foot and into the ground. A third maiden in four overs for Bess. 

1:06PM

OVER 19: SA 35/2 (Malan 4* Du Plessis 12*)        

Malan ducks, leaves and finally plays a couple of defensives at Stoke. He didn't seem to have a broad array of attacking strokes in the first innings at Cape Town. But how he impressed in the second innings. Once established, he does emerge from his shell. 

 

1:02PM

OVER 18: SA 35/2 (Malan 4* Du Plessis 12*)       

After 16 dot balls, Malan gets Bess away and away from Bess with a single eased behind point. Du Plessis plays the last ball of the over, the off-break, off the back foot, skelping it into Root's shin at leg slip. It floors the captain but saves four.  

12:59PM

OVER 17: SA 34/2 (Malan 3* Du Plessis 12*)      

Ben Stokes replaces his Durham team-mate Mark Wood after a four-over burst after the break. Du Plessis hits a pair of twos, the first tucked fine off his hip, the next, again off the back foot, drilled past cover. Faf has the steeliest of pusses on him today. 

12:55PM

OVER 16: SA 30/2 (Malan 3* Du Plessis 8*)     

Another maiden for Bess to Malan who cannot pierce the infield with his attacking strokes, none of which he middles or times well. Huge cry of 'catch it' when he plays the strangest of strokes to one that dipped sharply on him, chipping it out of the blockhole towards midwicket but it dropped to earth long before the fielder could get to it. 

12:53PM

OVER 15: SA 30/2 (Malan 3* Du Plessis 8*)     

Du Plessis, who has a history of playing captain's knocks in the most testing of circumstances, looks in full resistance mode. He ducks the bouncer, sways under a second short one then flays a back foot drive on the up through the covers for four. Wood responds with a snorter that jags back in and Du Plessis, backing his judgment and the honesty of the pitch, leaves it on length. It vaults the stumps by about two inches ... but it was exactly the same length and a misbehaving pitch that did for Joe Root in the first innings.

<span>Mark Wood bags his second wicket of South Africa's second innings, strangling Zubayr Hamza</span> <span>Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images </span>
Mark Wood bags his second wicket of South Africa's second innings, strangling Zubayr Hamza Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

12:46PM

OVER 14: SA 26/2 (Malan 3* Du Plessis 4*)    

The arrival of Du Plessis sparks the introduction of Dom Bess to exploit that very firm grip. But first he has Malan to deal with and he begina with a maiden that includes an appeal for a bat-pad catch snaffled by the electric Pope at short-leg ... except, as Bruce Oxenford notes, he didn't hit it. It was all pad. 

12:45PM

OVER 13: SA 26/2 (Malan 3* Du Plessis 4*)   

Thanks for your service, Mr Hamza. Enjoy your break from Test cricket 39, 4, 5, 18, 10 and 2 makes it inevitable that he will make way for the fit again and in-form again Temba Bavuma at the Wanderers. Enter Faf who ducks Wood's bouncer, defends a couple solidly and square drives the attempted yorker that doesn't land for four behind point. 

 

12:37PM

Wicket!!!

Hamza c Buttler b Wood 2 Strangled down the legside. The final two balls of Wood's previous over were on that line, obviously and unashamedly targeting that mode of dismissal, hazarding that Hamza would not be able to resist temptation for long. And so it proves as he tickles it and Buttler takes a straightforward catch.  FOW 22/2

12:37PM

OVER 12: SA 22/1 (Malan 3* Hamza 2*)  

Malan drives Broad straight up the pitch, the bowler sticks out his size 12 to stop it and deflects it down to long-off for two. Broad made Malan play at five of those, the radar recalibrated now. 

12:33PM

OVER 11: SA 20/1 (Malan 1* Hamza 2*) 

Whether it was Darren the Dazzler or Chris the Silvers, someone has encouraged Wood to bowl fuller and straighter during the break and he is nearly rewarded again with one at 90mph that whistles past Hamza's off-stump and outside edge as he groped forward to cover his poles. Hamza ends the over with a cracking back-foot punch for two through cover, demonstrating again that this porridgey pitch gives no help at all to the shorter ball. Banging it in back of a length makes the ball sit up and beg to be hit. It has to be full with the occasional proper bumper, preferably over off-stump. 

12:28PM

OVER 10: SA 18/1 (Malan 1* Hamza 0*)

Pope at short leg is now in front of square for Broad who continues to plug away on a fifth-stump line. Joe Root, exasperated after five deliveries that Malan can easily leave, sprints from first slip to have a word with his bowler who duly makes Malan play a forward defensive to the last one, sent down on off-stump. 

<span>'Bowl at stoomps, lad' </span> <span>Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images </span>
'Bowl at stoomps, lad' Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

12:23PM

OVER 9: SA 18/1 (Malan 1* Hamza 0*)         

Wood had Elgar camped on the back-foot in fear of the bouncer and the left-hander couldn't get a full stride in when it was pitched up. Wood is bounding in to Hamza, having roughed him up in the first innings. The No3 ducks a couple then fends one off his armpit round the corner. The last two balls of the over are on a similar trajectory, angled across the right-hander aiming for his adam's apple. Both fly down the legside as Hamza plays defensive shots, connecting with only one. 

12:16PM

Wicket!!!!

Elgar b Wood 15 He's the one that they wanted. Pitched up at 89mph, it veers in off the pitch, kisses Elgar's edge and sends off-stump tumbling out of the ground on a course set for Buttler. Superb delivery and fourth of five wickets today clean bowled.  FOW 18/1

12:16PM

OVER 8: SA 18/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 15*)        

Broad, who has changed ends, oversteps with his first delivery up the hill. Significantly less bounce for Broad but he has three slips which prompts a puzzled shake of the head here. Elgar takes a leg-bye off the no-ball down to fine leg. Broad pounds away on a good length to Malan who defends stoutly as the PE band strikes up a refrain that would mystify the most astute contestants on Name That Tune. It's music, Jim. But not as we know it. Malan leaves four down the corridor and defends the other two. 

12:11PM

OVER 7: SA 16/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 14*)       

Wood has only one slip which does seem ridiculous. A short leg and shortish midwicket are also in place for Elgar as well as a gully and a cover. Wood does opt for his typical non-World Cup length and Elgar taps it through cover off the back foot and they hustle a sharp single. 

12:09PM

Sky's crew

Seems less than confident that the rain will stay away for long but it should not return before the scheduled start. Mark Wood has one ball left of his first and England's seventh over with Elgar on strike. Pitch it up, Woody. 

12:00PM

The covers are off again

The players are warming up on the outfield and play will resume at 12.10pm GMT. 

11:53AM

An announcement

That play will resume at 2.10pm is succeeded within seconds by the covers being brought back on. As you were. 

11:47AM

Nick Hoult reports

There is little prospect of play during the next hour. It's going to be a race against time for England today and tomorrow when there's a high probability of rain during the morning session before clearing up for the final two sessions. 

11:41AM

Guess what? 

It's raining again. "I felt the rain and called it genius."

 

11:26AM

An update from St George's Park

It has stopped raining and the covers are coming off. Hope, lovely hope. 

11:13AM

I'm afraid to report

That it is absolutely bucketing it down now.

Time for you to have a read of the correspondent to look back at his 43 years of watching England overseas, beginning just after the Calcutta Test of 1976-77, of which more here

 

10:44AM

Lunch has been taken and it's still raining

 Meanwwhile ... as they did yesterday, familiar faces have returned to the nets:

 

10:23AM

Wood, who else?

England have been so uptight for the past half dozen tours that it is always a delight to have Mark Wood onboard. 

<span>He's a fine lad, he's a bonny lad, he's a sight for sore eyes</span> <span>Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images </span>
He's a fine lad, he's a bonny lad, he's a sight for sore eyes Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

10:00AM

Lunch: SA 15/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 13*)

The umpires were out to confirm that play was not imminent and have sent the players into the mess hall for a feed instead of wasting any more time. 

Almost perfect morning for England, who lead by 275 with 10 SA wickets and their own second innings left.

<span>Stuart Broad takes three wickets for no runs from 16 balls to polish off SA's first innings at Port Elizabeth</span> <span>Credit: RICHARD HUGGARD/AFP via Getty Images </span>
Stuart Broad takes three wickets for no runs from 16 balls to polish off SA's first innings at Port Elizabeth Credit: RICHARD HUGGARD/AFP via Getty Images

 

9:54AM

Out on the field

The covers are again coming off. The eternal dance of the groundstaff, the tarpaulin terpsichore continues. But in a better sign the umpires are out too, Rod Tucker, Bruce Oxenford and match referee Andy Pycroft. 

Looks like we might be blighted all day, which makes the decision to enforce the follow-on definitely the likeliest/only route to victory.

<span>Credit: Met Office </span>
Credit: Met Office

 

9:44AM

Mixed news from PE

Where it had stopped raining and the covers were coming off. And then it started again. 

 Presley's last watchable film? Discuss. 

9:39AM

Meanwhile in Isleworth

I think cricket lovers of my generation feel an almost paternal sense of affection for Steven Finn. Should his knee be robust enough after two operations and two summers of agonising toil to carry him all the way back to the Test side, I don't think there'd be enough Kleenex in the UK to meet demand. 

9:30AM

The rain falls hard

Ach. Looks like they could be off for a while now. 

9:24AM

Groundstaff are in the middle

But there are still fresh spots of rain on the camera lens. Shouldn't be long until they are back out. 

9:04AM

Rain stops play: SA 15/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 13*)

Wood begins at 85mph and ramps it up to 89, beating Elgar once outside off-stump as the left-hander fences at a ball that climbs on him. But with a ball left to come the rain intensifies and the umpires lead the players off. SA trail by 275

9:02AM

OVER 6: SA 15/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 13*)      

During the 2002 men's football World Cup, John Motson became obsessed with breakfast chat, constantly banging in about cornflakes and porridge, kippers and black pudding as he imagined what we were all up to back home while watching the matches. KP has succumbed to something similar, musing about bacon sandwiches, sausage and egg, a golfer's view of weekend morning rituals if ever there was one, says he jealously after a slice and a scrape at 6am before setting off for the office in the freezing pitch black this morning. 

Elgar works a single off his pads, Malan defends five and Mark Wood is summoned up from mid-off for a first burst of the morning.  

8:57AM

OVER 5: SA 14/0 (Malan 1* Elgar 12*)     

Malan gets off the mark with a tip and run defensive to cover and Elgar adds a leg-bye to the total. Broad is trying to bowl cutters and scrambled seam deliveries for maximum movement after pitching. Malan, so far, though has shown better judgment than his harebrained team-mates first thing this morning. The rain starts but it's light enough to stay on so far.  

8:53AM

OVER 4: SA 12/0 (Malan 0* Elgar 12*)    

Elgar looks comfortable against Curran's inswinger when it's pitched on middle and he elegantly whisks it round the corner off his toes for his third boundary of the morning. Nice shot. Curran responds in promising fashion by drawing the left-hander forward with the final four balls of the over and making him look far more hesitant. A shower is heading in from the west and the groundsmen assemble on the boundary to ready the covers. 

8:49AM

OVER 3: SA 8/0 (Malan 0* Elgar 8*)   

Broad angles one in to Malan, beats him and pins him on the thigh pad. Too high. He tries to set him up with a couple that move away but he leaves them well alone. Pietersen and Pollock are discussing the GPS tracker that Broad is wearing. Pollock refers to the harness that holds it in place as 'a bra'. 

 

8:43AM

OVER 2: SA 8/0 (Malan 0* Elgar 8*)  

Movement from Curran off the seam. Three slips then two slips and a catching midwicket after Elgar pops four off his hip. The left-hander trolls England by thick-edging a defensive through third slip a moment after the area was vacated for another four. 

 

8:40AM

OVER 1: SA 0/0 (Malan 0* Elgar 0*) 

Stuart Broad begins again and because it's a new innings, it's time for an encore of Jerusalem. Malan on strike and Broad is right on the spot from the start. The right-hander defends two into the onside then leaves a couple, showing more discernment than the previous four Saffer batsmen. Malan is a chewer, masticating three sticks of Juicy Fruit like a horizon-gazing Australian and getting into line. The last ball genuinely beats him as Broad draws him forward, leading to a chorus of 'oohs'. Root takes a moment to applaud the choir in gratitude for Jerusalem. 

 

8:28AM

England enforce the follow-on

Having taken four wickets for one run off 28 balls, England have asked South Africa to bat again, 290 runs behind. 

<span>Maharaj is the ninth man out, the third in succession from a truly terrible stroke</span> <span>Credit: RICHARD HUGGARD/AFP via Getty Images </span>
Maharaj is the ninth man out, the third in succession from a truly terrible stroke Credit: RICHARD HUGGARD/AFP via Getty Images

 

8:24AM

Wicket!!

Rabada c Wood b Broad 1 Absolutely, jaw-droppingly terrible batting from South Africa this morning. Stuart Broad ends with three for 30 when Rabada chips a defensive tamely down mid-off's throat. It's hardly credible this performance. Unless they dig deep in this second innings, it's the kind of performance that ends captaincies, coaching careers and more. 'Pathetic' would not do it justice. FOW 209/10

8:23AM

OVER 86: SA 209/9 (Rabada 1* Paterson 0*)     

Mark Boucher will have 10 minutes at the change of innings to go medieval on his batsmen's behinds.  Dane Paterson plays and misses at a couple, one of which sears past off-stump and his edge. Pommie Mbangwa calls SA's batting 'quizzical'. Understatement alert. Rabada at least made it one run for three wickets with a tickle round the corner. 

 

8:18AM

OVER 85: SA 208/9 (Rabada 0* Paterson 0*)    

England have bowled three scoreless overs this morning and taken three wickets, all with the generous assistance of terrible strokes from hitherto competent batsmen. What on earth is going on? 

8:14AM

Wicket!!

Maharaj b Broad 0   This is insane batting by South Africa - and we are treated to the sight of leg-stump being shattered. All three stumps have been knocked out in successive overs. Were one a cynical man one would question what the hell is going on in the SA players' minds. Maharaj tried to pull a ball that was only just back of a length and dragged it on to leg-stump off a bottom edge. This is the definition of surrender. FOW 208/9

8:13AM

OVER 84: SA 208/8 (Maharaj 0* Rabada 0*)   

Touch of swing for Curran in to the left-hander and De Kock refuses to pay it any respect. Terrible judgment so far from both Philander and De Kock, making gifts of their wickets to England with lax thinking and loose shots. They have now made the follow on a far more attractive proposal to the notoriously follow-on shy England. All we need now is one of the bowlers to send leg-stump cartwheeling and we'll have a full house. 

8:08AM

Wicket!!

De Kock b Curran 63 Another gulled by the new ball, not treating it with any respect. He goes for that lovely short he used to such effect yesterday, closing the face to punch it through midwicket but, like Vernon, gates himself and is diddled by bounce and swing. Middle stump is flattened.  FOW 208/8

8:07AM

OVER 83: SA 208/7 (De Kock 63* Maharaj 0*)  

Terrific start for England and after five dot balls, once the last lines of Jerusalem had died in the air, Broad nibbles one through Philander's massive gate with the new ball, done by movement and bounce, to shiver his timbers. Sam Curran and not Mark Wood will share the new ball, as on Friday evening. 

8:05AM

Wicket!!

Philander b Broad 27  What a start by Stuart Broad who gets one to nip back through Philander's woolly drive and knock off-stump out of the ground.  FOW 208/7

7:54AM

Good morning

England are on top and leading by 291 runs with four South African wickets to take this morning but it should have been even better had they held one of the four chances offered to first slip, first by Anrich Nortje and then the three, more difficult opportunities, given by Quinton de Kock yesterday. Ben Stokes, who dropped the final three, would back himself to have taken two of them, the one dabbed off a full horizontal face found him on the move and attempting to scramble across the wrong way, came at him so quick it would have been a Stokes-esque miracle had it stuck, but you can't give South Africa's best batsman three lives and hope to come away unscathed.

Consequently he and Vernon Philander have put on 54 runs to back up his 45-run partnership with Nortje. England took the new ball with three deliveries of the day left and one would expect Mark Wood to have a dart with it first thing this morning which has dawned with heavy, grey clouds but no rain so far.

England need to take 14 wickets in six sessions to win this match and their best bet surely rests on them taking the final four this morning quam celerrime and enforcing the follow-on. The last time asked South Africa to bat back-to-back again in a Test, though, was at Lord's in 2008 when Neil McKenzie, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla all made hundreds and put Michael Vaughan on the road to resignation. Little wonder England have been reluctant to do it more often and they will likely come out and have a knock for a couple of hours if they do pick up the final four wickets for fewer than 91 runs. 

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