South Africa have victory target of 331 to win first test

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts in frustration after nearly claiming the wicket of England's Alastair Cook with the ball failing

The scale of South Africa's task could be seen from the fact that only once, when the West Indies made 344 for one against England in 1984 with Gordon Greenige hitting an unbeaten double century, had a side made more than 300 in the fourth innings to win a Lord's Test.

Moeen was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Dawson, Anderson and Stuart Broad chipped in with two wickets apiece. They were still able to set South Africa 331, only 10 fewer than the ground-record run chase, though.

Not everyone can do it but Moeen has mastered it averaging 87.75 at seven including three centuries compared to his overall average of 35.03.

South Africa now needed a major innings from Hashim Amla.

Previously England's number one spinner, Moeen was joined at Lord's by the slow left-arm of Liam Dawson. At lunch, England's lead was 279 but Bairstow and Mark Wood scraped together valuable extra runs during a brisk ninth-wicket stand of 45.

Broad had Heino Kuhn, on debut, caught at first slip by Alastair Cook for one shortly after lunch before Elgar and Amla shared an obdurate second-wicket partnership of 72.

When JP Duminy fell to Broad, pinned by a ball that veered into him late, South Africa had lost 3 for 22 and looked to be wilting but de Bruyn, playing in this Test as cover for Faf du Plessis, and Bavuma slowly wrested the initiative back.

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts after pitching a delivery during the first test between England and South Africa at Lord's cricket
South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts after pitching a delivery during the first test between England and South Africa at Lord's cricket

Moeen has taken more than three wickets only four times in his 38 Tests and has an average at over 40 that does not suggest containment but his ability to get out very good batsmen is unerring.

South Africa are already without star players AB de Villiers (rest, or possible retirement) and Dale Steyn (shoulder injury) and could ill afford to lose Philander as well.

The magnificent Moeen finished with career-best match figures of 10-112 after taking 6-53 in the second innings as the Proteas were skittled out for only 119 on a dramatic day four at Lord's.

"It might be in the second innings and further along in this series that guys at the top of the order [put in scores] - today was my day but looking at the talent in the dressing room those guys will make big scores themselves".

Broad could also have been given out lbw on 4, but South Africa chose not to review, and he later saw Amla fail to hold a hard slip catch off the top edge. South Africa need to improve at this and quickly.

Gary Ballance strolled to the crease with England 80-1 and batted assuredly into the evening, with some attractive strokes to get off the mark. Stuart Broad was twice taken for three fours in an over as de Kock, who scored his maiden Test hundred against England past year, set about matching the grand surroundings with an innings of equivalent pomp.

Related:

Comments

Other news