England closes in on series victory over South Africa

  • England closes in on series victory over South Africa

England closes in on series victory over South Africa

Chasing 380 to win, the Proteas were dealt two quick blows as Stuart Broad and James Anderson dismissed Dean Elgar and Heino Kuhn for five and 11 runs respectively.

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 checked England's progress with a fourth-wicket stand of 123 between Hashim Amla (83) and skipper Faf du Plessis (61).

No replays were required when Quinton de Kock (1) edged a drive off Moeen to Alastair Cook in the slips.

Then, just as South Africa thought they would have Philander back for their must-win game at Old Trafford, he pulled up with back spasms, which left Smith fuming and du Plessis frustrated.

James Anderson struck soon after tea with the wickets of Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada, taking his match haul to seven wickets at his home ground, where one of the ends is named after him. The right-handed batsman shuffled across the off stump in customary fashion to flick the ball leg-side but missed making a connection to be trapped on the pads.

"England were well deserved winners of this series, they were consistently the better team".

"It's been very enjoyable the majority of the time", Root said. We came over for the one-day series, ahead of the Champions Trophy, which was disappointing. "We fought hard - and we will enjoy the celebrations that are to come", enthused England captain Joe Root. So he's taken it on board from a fitness point of view. You have to take those half-chances to compete. "It would be tough because they are obviously fantastic players of spin".

Even though West Indies might not provide the sternest examination, at least that player will have had experience of playing in an England shirt, coping with the spotlight and doing things like post-match media interviews before such a massive tour.

"We know there are some spots that haven't been cemented down".

Leading 2-1, England is on the verge of a second straight series triumph over South Africa but its first at home over the Proteas since 1998.

It was a worrying statistic that the last time South Africa's bowlers were able to put their feet up for an entire day was the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge. I would say I set the field a lot more throughout this series'.

Root fully underlines that, saying: "Moeen has put in some unbelievable performances to win games for us in this series and hopefully that can be something that can be repeated on a number of occasions in the future". The work the duo have done has been as much tactical and strategic as anything else.

"We have three Tests before we go to Australia and there is an opportunity for whoever gets to play". Great to have guys who can contribute with bat and ball.

Pujara and Rahane have made notable movements after their centuries in the Colombo Test helped India take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series with an innings and 53 runs win over Sri Lanka.

Given that he only plays one format at worldwide level, Smith pointed out that Philander does not always have the benefit of a team trainer to put him through his paces. Great pitch to bowl on, especially today, landing it in a good area you get the reward.

That gave the off-spinner a return of 5-69 in 19.5 overs and 25 wickets in total in a series where he also scored 252 runs.

Du Plessis captained his side to a famous 2-1 series victory previous year down under, prompting wholesale changes in the Australian squad under Steve Smith.