Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jonny Bairstow struck a dashing 99 before England’s bowlers made inroads into South Africa’s top order on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.
At tea, South Africa were 93 for three in reply to England’s first innings 362 — a deficit of 269 runs.
Temba Bavuma was 30 not out and Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain, six not out, with the Proteas needing a win in Manchester if they were to end this four-match series all square at 2-2.
But they’d so far found runs hard to come by, with their batsmen as yet unable to disrupt England’s bowlers.
England’s Toby Roland-Jones dismissed South Africa’s Hashim Amla for 30 on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford on August 5, 2017
James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, needed just three balls to strike from the newly-named James Anderson End at his Lancashire home ground when Dean Elgar, fresh from a gutsy second-innings hundred in South Africa’s 239-run defeat in the third Test at The Oval, was lbw for a duck shortly before lunch.
Roland-Jones gets Amla again
Hashim Amla looked in typically stylish touch while making 30, punching Stuart Broad off the back foot for a well-struck four.
But for the third time in as many innings, he fell to Toby Roland-Jones after the Middlesex paceman had twice removed him cheaply on his Test debut at The Oval.
Amla glanced Roland-Jones off his pads for four only to fall next ball when, trying to play a similar shot to a worse delivery, he was caught down the legside by wicket-keeper Bairstow to leave the Proteas struggling at 47 for two.
Once again this series, Bavuma came into bat needing to rebuild the innings.
He and Kuhn went about the task steadily without ever looking like wresting back the initiative from England’s attack.
England’s Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for 99 on the second day of the fourth Test against South Africa on August 5, 2017
After several overs of determined defence, a mix-up nearly saw Bavuma run out only for bowler Moeen Ali to miss the stumps as he gathered a throw from mid-off.
But two balls later the unsettled Kuhn (24) edged in-form off-spinner Ali to slip Ben Stokes.
England, who’d won the toss, resumed on 260 for six after Kagiso Rabada had yorked Stokes for 58 late on Friday.
Bairstow was 33 not out, having survived a contentious umpire review for a slip catch after initially being given out for just four.
A South Africa attack missing injured pacemen Vernon Philander and Chris Morris, both ruled out with lower back strains, remained on top in the early stages of Saturday’s play as Morne Morkel, so often unlucky this series, repeatedly beat the outside edge.
Bairstow, however, completed a 100-ball fifty, and raised England’s 300, when he cut Morkel through backward point for four.
It was a worrying sight for South Africa given they were all out for 175 in their first innings at The Oval.
Worse followed for the tourists when Quinton de Kock, who’d taken a brilliant catch to get rid of Tom Westley for his 100th Test dismissal on Friday, missed opposing keeper Bairstow when he could not hold a low diving chance off Rabada.
Bairstow then on 53, with just last man Anderson for company, cashed in.
Recalled paceman Duanne Olivier’s first over Saturday cost 14 runs, with Bairstow driving him back over his head for six.
With Bairstow on 94, Anderson survived an lbw review after missing an audacious reverse sweep off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj on umpire’s call.
But Bairstow, in sight of what would have been his fourth Test century, was lbw when he missed a sweep off Maharaj, a review confirming his 145-ball innings including 14 fours and a six was at an end.
He was the first England batsman to be out for 99 in a Test since Kevin Pietersen fell a run short of a century against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2010.
But Bairstow’s innings, and a last-wicket stand of 50 in just 55 balls with Anderson, had put England on top.