England vs South Africa: 1st Test, Day 3

Not a great deal has gone right for South Africa this Test. Much of it is self-inflicted, whether that be missed catches, missed reviews or players getting themselves banned for a game for swearing at poor, innocent Ben Stokes who has definitely never done anything of that kind himself. But when it rains, it pours (and no doubt they are scanning the heavens in hope), and the loss of Vernon Philander from the bowling attack due to a painful blow received from Anderson while batting has serious repercussions for a side that only went in to the game with four bowlers.

It is perhaps fortunate to some extent that spin looks the most likely wicket taking option, but JP Duminy, forced to bowl a lot of overs, is not the greatest threat the England batsmen will face this summer.

The third day of a Test is often known as Moving Day, for it is then that the direction of the match starts to become clear. That’s true enough at Lords too, but the movement has been slow and at times somewhat turgid. It’s not the fault of the players, in keeping with recent years this pitch is a slow one, and not conducive to exhilarating strokeplay, and the match position has forced the hands of the teams to a fair extent too.

England finish the third day totally dominant, 200 runs ahead, with nine wickets in hand and two days left to try and force a result on a pitch that is taking considerable amounts of spin – albeit slowly. That’s not to say that South Africa have had a disastrous day, more that they have been slowly throttled by an England team who have played the situation rather well. As much as it’s claimed that England will be an attacking side, it’s hard to do so if the surface makes that a risky option.

The tourists would have needed an almost perfect day to get right back into the game, and while they did fairly well, it still left a significant deficit after the first innings, especially given that it doesn’t look like batting last on this pitch will be easy, especially against spin. The value of the batting from Root, Moeen and Broad has been demonstrated by the England total looking to be well above par in the match context.

Bavuma and Rabada looked fairly untroubled for the best part of an hour, but their dismissals placed South Africa in some trouble. De Kock counterattacked, risky as that was given the pitch, and batted sublimely in the process, on his way to a belligerent fifty. With Philander in company, there was just a chance they could get sufficiently close to England to turn the pressure back on the hosts. As it was, a 97 run deficit is quite likely to prove critical, not least for the mindsets it creates for all 22 players from now on in. South Africa are trying to save the Test, England are trying to win it.

Moeen Ali is having a fine game, runs on the board and wickets too. His bowling weakness is less his ability to take wickets and more that he doesn’t always maintain control. But today he was excellent, probing away, restricting the runs and offering a consistent threat. Dawson was also much better, and rewarded with two wickets of his own. Six going to England spinners on day two of a Lords Test is certainly unusual, and perhaps ironic given the continual question marks over those in possession. They will be expected to win the game on the fifth day.

England’s second innings certainly hasn’t been an exciting one thus far. But that is reflective of the match position, a helter skelter approach could have let the visitors in. So while Cook, Jennings and Ballance didn’t excite, they did exactly the job that was required. Tomorrow is a little different, and expect them to increase the tempo as the day goes on, probably with a few to a declaration sometime in the last session.

South Africa have a mountain to climb to get out of this one. It’s hard to see how they can do it.

One final point. Today’s play finished more or less on time. Amazing.

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133 thoughts on “England vs South Africa: 1st Test, Day 3

  1. dannycricket July 8, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Philander’s x-ray apparently didn’t show a break and so he should be able to bowl tomorrow morning. At least I think so, he was off the field due to an injury so I assume he doesn’t have to wait in the field for a few hours first.

    Like

    • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      External blow means he doesn’t have to wait. How effective he would be, that’s got to be questionable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Not sure if it was heard by all, but on TMS Andrew Samson said that Stokes was 1 point away from the same ban. It’s either one test or two ODIS. Of course, Simon Mann started worrying about the Ashes.

    The points last two years before being expunged. Stokes has points from Bangladesh away and a clash with Kohli.

    I thought 1 test = 2 ODIs. Says a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket July 8, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      Don’t footballers in this situation usually make sure they get booked before a relatively meaningless game, so that they don’t have a possible suspension hanging over them before a final? Expect to see Stokes swear at a West Indian in late August (assuming he can hold off that long) so he can be relatively safe during the Ashes.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 6:17 pm

        Cynical you!

        Those late September ODIs against the West Indies are screaming out for a screaming Stokes!

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 6:29 pm

          Good sense and good planning though. Gaming a system is always the response, so it’ll definitely happen.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Mark July 8, 2017 / 6:17 pm

      This is going to become so much like football with the media becoming very selective of who should be red carded and who shouldn’t.

      Can’t wait for the first Harry Redknapp of cricket…….”I know the boy, he’s a lovely lad, hasn’t got a bad bone in his body…….. makes tea for his granny 3 times a week, wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

      Like

      • Mark July 8, 2017 / 6:22 pm

        Oh, and the other football manager quote…..coming to a cricket ground soon….

        “there’s no common sense anymore. “. And then when an opposition player doesn’t get banned it will be ……”Where’s the consistency?”

        Who will be the first player to be accused of getting a fellow player suspended by over reaction?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 6:27 pm

          I get the frustration about Rabada’s suspension but again, the punditerati want their cake and eat it. They get the hump when players act like arseholes, especially when it’s against England, see Ravi Jadeja for one, but when the process is followed, it’s criticised mercilessly. Rabada had a previous incident, and without investigating it (Sky showed it – he got points for that?) thought more about players than running the game.

          I get people are mad about Rabada missing out when other serial offenders get off (I await Kohli getting to 4 points with some excitement) but there is a process, agreed by the world authorities, and the first thing anyone wants to do is tear it down.

          Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 6:30 pm

            I wonder how many were aware how fine the line for some players is? I didn’t realise, and I must admit it never occurred to me a send off could be what pushes a player over the line into a ban.

            Like

          • Mark July 8, 2017 / 6:43 pm

            Yes, to be honest I had no idea either.

            But Dimitris point about Kohli is well timed.It will be a brave umpire who is going to pull the trigger on Kohli with a test match to go in a level series. But then a brave referee will send off Roy Keane at OT in front of 70,000 fans. Ain’t happening often.

            Do we think behaviour has got much worse in the last few years? Have we reached a ” something must be done moment?”

            Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 6:49 pm

            At Test level? No. At club level, absolutely.

            Like

          • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 6:45 pm

            Can Duminy please be banned for calling himself a batsman / cricketer? Please? It is using inappropriate language …

            Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 6:49 pm

            I’m beginning to think you don’t like him. Call me Mr Paranoid…

            Like

          • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 6:54 pm

            Actually if the ICC were serious about this whole procedure, Kohli would have missed a few games last season, due to ball tampering (if it was good enough to get Faf 3 demerit points, it must have been good enough for Kohli to get a similar punishment). But the ICC could not be bothered to actually be consistent. Imagine that, meritocracy applying across the board …

            Like

  3. Mark July 8, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Not at all good at the Notts vs Birmingham blast match tonight.

    The bowler got hit on the head by the batsman hitting the ball back at him. Luke Fletcher is the bowler I believe. He has been taken to hospital. Hope is ok. There has been a long delay, but now playing again. Players looked shell shocked. .

    Like

    • alecpaton July 8, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Jake Ball tweeted a photo of him giving the thumbs up in the ambulance, which assuaged worries somewhat

      Like

  4. BoredInAustria July 8, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    RE Rabada:

    I have not seen / heard the incident, (nor the previous incident against SL), but my sense is the hypocracy is just incredible:

    “….. the former cricketer and broadcaster Lloyd said it would send a message to all players. “You simply cannot verbally abuse a player …end of …whatever nationality,” Lloyd said. “In the long run, this should help Rabada … And any other cricketer … play hard, play tough …and respect.”

    “There is obviously a line that the ICC have drawn and we need to stay on the right side of it,” said England’s James Anderson.

    Anderson, the statesman player, keeper of the respect:

    “Anderson said to Jadeja as they left the field at lunch on the second day: “What the fuck are you smiling at? I’ll knock your fucking teeth out in the dressing room”. According to the testimony of the umpire, Bruce Oxenford, Anderson had directed comments on the field to the India captain, M S Dhoni, saying: “You’re a fucking fat cunt.”

    “We also want to play competitive cricket, we don’t want to be too nicey-nicey, with everyone saying they’re playing in the right spirit. There’s always that muddied line. We want to play competitive cricket like these three games have been played and I don’t think we need to change too much.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/england-v-india-fourth-test-alastair-cook-defies-india-s-outrage-and-tells-jimmy-anderson-to-keep-on-9652970.html

    Lovely “respect”. But Jimmy is allowed. Becuase the stump micropone did not pick this up?

    Sadly a big impact on this series. It unfortunately does reduce the spectacle of young Rabada in England, and bearing in mind how few chances he will have to play here (see Steyn), this is a massive decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria July 8, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      Apologies – This quote was from Saint Alistair in the context of “You’re a fucking C**:

      ““We also want to play competitive cricket, we don’t want to be too nicey-nicey, with everyone saying they’re playing in the right spirit. There’s always that muddied line. We want to play competitive cricket like these three games have been played and I don’t think we need to change too much.”

      And yes this pisses me off. I was looking forward to see Rabada in England….

      Like

  5. LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    Newman – I can’t read him, as he doesn’t appear to have an article up, so I won’t have to.

    LB – wash your mouth out.

    “But England will be the more relieved, and there was a grim pragmatism about the way Cook ground down the bowling last night. The runs will have to flow more freely if England are to give themselves enough time to bowl South Africa out again.”

    That was almost criticism.

    “It’s true that Cook and Jennings erred on the side of caution in taking nearly 35 overs to put on 80, with Cook at one stage going 69 minutes between boundaries en route to his 84th Test score of 50 or more. But cricket’s white-ball craze has made spoiled brats of us all.”

    So was that.

    Like

    • BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 7:09 am

      Time will tell, and their seems to be no end to what the Proteas can conspire to make life hard, so I expect them to lose this test. But I was reminded somewhat of the UAE where Cook was showing little urgency in his batting and in the end a few overs were lacking to win the match.

      I also suspect the series will not get easier for the tourists, and this is part of a long term “wear them down”approach, and I actually enjoyed seeing some batsmen playing a proper test innings.

      It is just that the new style of captaincy feels a bit like the old one…Vernon of the field, the pitch starting to show some interesting life – surely could have meant pushing a bit harder? Was this what Root ordered or “this is the way I play”.

      Like

  6. quebecer July 9, 2017 / 12:39 am

    Michael Holding should know better than to say, “That’s the end of de Kock”

    What with his accent and everything.

    Like

    • dlpthomas July 9, 2017 / 3:06 am

      Have a listen to Dobell’s comment about do Kock on todays “Polite Enquiries”.

      Like

      • dlpthomas July 9, 2017 / 3:06 am

        Sorry, de Kock (its freezing here and my fingers are frozen)

        Like

        • quebecer July 9, 2017 / 3:28 am

          Where the bloody hell are you? Even up here on the tundra it’s at least a bit warm today.

          Like

          • dlpthomas July 9, 2017 / 3:14 pm

            Sydney. The Tundra – I’m jealous (though I’m a wimp and clearly would not last a day)

            Like

  7. d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Last year, Anderson was reprimanded for disrespecting the umpire. Of course he did not get any demerit points for that, as it was deemed a level one offence. Are umpires that unimportant to the ICC? Or is this just a case of finding the lightest possible sanction (in terms of demerit points) to allow such idiocy to go indefinitely?

    So, according to Anderson the stump mics hear everything. If that is true, it is just another example of how useless umpires have become (not necessarily their fault, I must add).
    And if that is true, why are players allowed to cover their mouth when they say fat c**t and all that kind of stuff? Why does the ICC not employ several lip readers or two to actually make certain that players behave? Oh right, because the rules do not apply to all teams.

    Wow, and who is operating the stump mics? Do we need neutral broadcasters after the whole shebang about home umpires?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket July 9, 2017 / 9:44 am

      From the ICC’s list of current demerit points, it seems like they started in September 2016, the incidents with Anderson were in June and August 2016, according to a quick Google search. The worrying thing for players who are already at three or more demerits like Stokes, du Plessis, Jadeja and Rabada is that we’re less than a year from the start of the system and they’re already racking up points. The points last 2 years, so they have to be very careful for over a year.

      Like

      • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:04 am

        The whole thing is a dog’s breakfast as far as I can see. First off, they should not mix up test cricket and ODI cricket. If a player behaves badly in an ODI game then the ban should be in that format. If you are going to add up points there should be an ODI list and a test list. A One match ban in test cricket is 5 days of action. A one match ODI ban is one day of action.

        But my biggest fear is this is going to become like football. How often do you hear managers say that referees bottled it against the biggeser sides and players? And now the opportunity to help get players suspended comes into it. Coaches will be looking at lists before series of opponents to see who is on a knife edge, and then see if they can wind them up to get a reaction and a ban.

        I would have thought that there are higher priorities in the game right now than finding more ways to keep your top players off the park.

        Like

  8. BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 10:04 am

    Can someone please translate this for me:

    Alastair Cook on Test Match Special: “There was a moment when Ben (Stokes) told me where to stand off the spinner and I thought life has changed. It has been brilliant. Joe has been very good with me. There is always that relationship to find but I think he has done a really good job so far.”

    Like

  9. Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:10 am

    So they had Cook doing the pitch report this morning with Ian Ward. If ever you wanted to see a harbinger of doom this is it. Sky are prepping him for a career in broadcasting.

    David Attenborough, he most certainly isn’t. But as we know if you have captained England then you must be a shoe in for a job as a broadcaster. Stick to farming please.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 10:12 am

      There’s one recent England captain they don’t talk to for some reason…

      Like

      • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:21 am

        No, you got me there. Can’t think who you mean! Even Freddie Flintoff is doing comedy turns now on the Blast.

        Like

      • oreston July 9, 2017 / 4:07 pm

        The conditioning clearly hasn’t worked. You’re not supposed to remember that he was the captain, or that anyone ever had a positive working relationship with him. His name is only ever to be invoked as the Bogeyman.
        For a great career move, make sure you’re heard calling him a c**t on live TV. They’re sure to put you in charge of English cricket if you do that. No demerit points for administrators or broadcasters.

        Like

  10. thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 10:17 am

    If the pitch is going to get worse from what we’ve seen this morning already, then England might already have enough. Still, carry on chaps.

    Like

    • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:29 am

      I don’t think this a very good test pitch. Particularly for the so called home of cricket. Balls keeping very low, and spin on the first day.

      They say it’s because of the dry weather…..probably or did Strauss send one of his E-mails to the groundsman? They keep going on about how you never play two spinners at Lords for the last 10 years. So why now?

      Like

      • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 10:31 am

        Don’t you? I don’t have any problem with it. It’s more interesting than the usual Lords borefests. England are winning this game because they’ve played better, not because of the surface. It’s day four and there should be a result some time on day five. Seems reasonable to me.

        Like

        • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:47 am

          I’m not questioning that England have played better. Or South Africa have played poorly. Whichever you prefer.

          I just think this is a poor pitch for the so called home of cricket. when it’s turning from day 1 and keeping low. Which probably seems a bit odd I admit since England got 450, and are currently 138/1. As I write 139/2 now.

          SA don’t have any spinners of note, so as if by magic England create a pitch, that turns on day one. Ignore me, I’m just being cynical.

          Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 10:49 am

            England are hardly replete with the successors to Warne and Murali. You could make a case for SA having the best spinner on show. England have just got their selection right. Not everything is a conspiracy. It has been dry and hot for the last month. A pitch taking turn is surely what we’d expect to see?

            Like

          • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:52 am

            SA had the chance to bowl out England for 250 on day 1 and they only have themselves to blame for that. I agree.

            Like

    • BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 10:30 am

      I also think it is a done deal. Guardian OBO just posted “best way to stop the runs is take wickets”. In this case SA might be best served keeping these two at the crease and hope they declare too late.Clutching. Straws.Rain tomorrow?

      Like

  11. LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Did I just hear Nasser say the wicket of Cook and Root coming to the crease was “a good thing”?

    There’s the invitation to the Cooky Cookout gone.

    5 in 92. Conversion in that time – 30 scores of over 50, 5 centuries..but Joe Root has the conversion issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 10:50 am

    They’re winning because South Africa can’t pick a guy who bats, fields or bowls decently at number 4 (and England don’t drop fairly straightforward catches to the tune of 174 runs worth of them).

    Cook gone, so we’re probably finally getting some intent from England. Not saying he and Ballance should have aimed for 4 / over, but more than 2.3 / over should have been possible. It is not like that these were the last two batsmen who stood between England and a South African win.

    Every over South Africa bowl, is an over in which they can’t lose any of their 10 wickets. So getting Cook out is really not that great for South Africa.

    I suspect Root will be erring a bit on the cautious side, so it could be “just” 130 overs to survive for South Africa. Probably still too much for South Africa, given the massive hole in the South African middle order (the guy with one fifty in 12 4th innings he batted in. That fifty was made on debut, only 9 years ago, so he has really proven himself in fourth innings since then).

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 10:55 am

      When Duminy makes that match saving century, there is going to be fireworks!

      Like

    • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Now Morkel takes care of Ballance as well (who was batting at a decent pace), so some fireworks to happen soon, I am sure.

      Like

      • Mark July 9, 2017 / 10:59 am

        Newman has his headline for tomorrow.

        Like

      • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:00 am

        I’ll go against the grain and say I thought Cook and Ballance did reasonably well. A 97 run lead is a good position, but not decisive. 30-4 would have got South Africa back in the game. Instead they’ve batted conservatively to take that lead well over 200 and they’ve probably got enough already. It’s freed the middle order to play their shots and for the strong position to become totally dominant. They’ve done their jobs well. Had they carried on at 2 an over till tea, then that wouldn’t have been good at all, but it’s a five day match not a T20. Good on them.

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        • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:01 am

          And note that wickets are falling now. It’s not easy to bat on.

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          • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 11:09 am

            I won’t be churlish and say Cook’s knock was counter-productive. It wasn’t. It was a totally English innings.In front, firmly in control, eschew risk as much as possible. If England have a choice to make in test cricket, they try to play safe. Australia don’t. Not in my memory. Their aim would be to put the opposition on the defensive.

            This looks like a wicket where you can stick around, but it is getting tougher to score. Stokes and Ali will be interesting to watch.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:14 am

            England have lost five of their last seven Tests. I doubt they’re bursting with certainty about victory.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 11:20 am

            Come on Chris, Statmine better than that! Five of their last six. Six of their last eight!

            I think we are now making this wicket look worse than it is!

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:21 am

            Couldn’t be bothered to look it up! Guilty as charged.

            Like

          • Mark July 9, 2017 / 11:39 am

            I have to defend Thelegglance here. And my views on Cook are no secret….however……What is Cook expected do with a hundred lead, on a shit pitch to play on, and half the game left? He got England up to 200 lead with two days to go and 1 wicket down. Was it Gilchrist at its best. No. But he played the conditions.

            Englands so called gun players have gone down like nine pins this morning. England probably already have enough. Doubt SA will get 250 on this pitch.
            And as I write another one goes along the ground. I will disagree with TLG on the pitch though. I still maintain this is a crap surface for a test match at the home of cricket..

            And they have just dropped another sitter. This is a shocking performance by SA.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:40 am

            One thing I would say about that dropped catch – Philander has a damaged hand which wouldn’t have helped.

            Like

        • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 11:02 am

          When Ballance came in it was already effectively 177/1. Hardly a position of weakness then, especially if you’re arguing that they already have enough when they’re 230 ahead. Since Jennings fell, Cook slowed down since then.

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          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:04 am

            Didn’t say it was a position of weakness. It clearly wasn’t. I said they didn’t throw it away and they batted properly for the match position when it wasn’t easy to bat. I’m not sure what people want them to do – throw the bat? Why? It’s a Test match.

            Like

          • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 11:36 am

            After Jennings fell, Cook went at less than 2 an over. Not saying he should have batted as if it was a T20, but that seems a bit on the slow side. Especially for a batsman who had already faced 109 balls, and thus should be considered well set. Ballance went at about 2.6 / over, which strikes me as the right kind of tempo on this pitch, and hardly the tempo of a possessed madman.

            If England don’t get bowled out they’ll probably be setting a target with a required run rate to win at around 2.7 (if adventurous, 3 if not so adventurous. Ballance did well, considering the circumstances. Cook, well, he seemed to be stuck in a low gear.

            It seems as if England did not allow themselves some time to get used to the wicket, once Cook fell. That may prove costly.

            No one seems to be certain when the declaration ought to come. Currently, if England declared now, the RRR would only be 1.6 (and that would be a pointless declaration, unless there are heavy rains forecast tomorrow), and if England keep on batting at the current innings rate (2.22), they’ll be batting for another 35-40 overs, to set South Africa 350 from 120 / 125 overs.

            This will only benefit South Africa.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:39 am

            It’s a Test match. With the best part of two days to go. If Cook had gone at 2.6 an over what would that be? An extra five runs? It’s not relevant to anything. There’s no time pressure on England whatsoever here, and those 69 runs from Cook look pretty valuable to me at the moment.

            Sometimes there’s berating Cook for the sake of it.

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          • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 11:47 am

            I’ve read berating of Cook on here. Oh yes.

            This isn’t berating.

            From my perspective I just think that sometimes we are a bit too cautious for our own good. Cook’s role is to provide an anchor, and he did. It’s a matter of degree. (As I write, Ali is positive and gets bowled and it was eff all to do with wicket). I’m just keen to point out the lack of hundreds (which was levelled at KP and Bell towards the end of their careers), and the conversion rate (which is levelled at Root).

            Liked by 2 people

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:50 am

            As a general point I do agree with you. I’m just a bit puzzled about why he’s being criticised today. Looks to me like he did a good job. Better than that hideous waft in the first innings that’s for sure. And the conversion stat not being mentioned…oh yes. For sure.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 11:59 am

            I agree. I thought Cook, having done the real hard work, would go on to a century but got out out to a loose shot.

            I remember Edgbaston 2006, against Sri Lanka, when KP got out after his reverse sweep/ switch hit of Murali. People blamed him for the collapse! As ridiculous then, as it is now. But I’ll rage against that inconsistency forever and a day.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 12:00 pm

            Blaming the one who got all the runs for the failures of all those who didn’t has always confused me.

            Like

          • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 12:02 pm

            If Cook had gone at 2.6 since Jennings fell, that would have been 10 – 12 runs. Or 3 to 4 overs worth of bowling for England. If he had batted out 2 sessions that would have amounted to 10-12 overs, that they won’t have at the South African batting order, which is quite substantial, in my opinion. It is not like South Africa have a record of not bothering to try to save Tests in the fourth ininngs …

            It seems that this discussion is growing increasingly moot, with several England batsmen just gifting their wickets.

            Still, expect a comfortable win for England here, despite a bit of a shocking session.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 12:10 pm

            Or by trying to push it be might have got out, and then we’re 40 runs lighter.

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        • BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 11:07 am

          So there is no truth in the rumour that the stump microphone picked up Root muttering “F*** off” from the pavillion as Cook was out?

          Liked by 1 person

  13. BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 11:18 am

    So we can move on as we have managed to get the batting collapse out of the way as well…

    Like

    • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Yep, it’s going far better now Cook and Ballance aren’t slowing things down…

      Like

  14. BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 11:54 am

    The pitch is so bad Rabada takes it out of the equation…

    Like

  15. General Zod July 9, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Cook’s runs look quite useful now. It’s a shame though don’t count because he didn’t go on to a hundred #dmitrimaths

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Ha Ha Ha!

      I could set my new watch by it. I’d also like to see where I say his runs don’t count. Root constantly gets told he doesn’t convert enough 50s into hundreds, when Cook never has that pointed out. You’ve done the leap General, not for the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • General Zod July 9, 2017 / 1:06 pm

        “I remember when KP….’ blah, blah, blah….Yeah, I could set my watch to the beat of one, tiny, relentless drum too.

        🙂

        Like

        • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 1:32 pm

          You could always go and make friends of your own Neil.

          Like

          • General Zod July 9, 2017 / 1:37 pm

            All views and opinions welcome! 🙂

            My name is not Neil by the way.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 1:38 pm

            When you start expressing views and opinions you will be. Don’t troll. Neil.

            Like

          • General Zod July 9, 2017 / 2:13 pm

            I guess my general opinion on this is that however badly you think KP or whoever else has been treated, it’s strange and wrong-headed to slate another player in the same way to try and somehow even it up.

            Two wrongs don’t make a right and all that….

            Ps I really don’t know who Neil is.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 2:14 pm

            Then it would have been an idea to actually read the comments where both Dmitri and myself defended and praised Cook. But I guess that doesn’t fit your agenda.

            Liked by 1 person

          • General Zod July 9, 2017 / 2:33 pm

            Yep, you can’t read anything on here without wading through all the comments from Dmitri praising Cook.

            “Agenda”….nice one!

            Like

        • man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 4:00 pm

          It seems that General Zod has a real agenda about an agenda here

          Like

    • Mark July 9, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Not as useful as Roots runs. Which are probably going to be the difference between the sides.

      But his name isn’t Cook, so they don’t count. #zodmaths

      Like

      • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        And I am sure the South African selectors will blame an injured Philander for dropping Bairstow. Despite carrying an injury, and despite taking a few wickets in the first innings. Currently he is on -24/-2, with the wickets he took in the first innings being those of Cook, Jennings and Bairstow. Which is a fairly useful return for any bowler.

        Rather than my favourite player for nearly donating 200 runs to England’s cause (currently on -180/1).

        #CSA selectormaths.

        Like

  16. LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    If only South Africa had a world class batsman to assist them in the run chase, available, fit and raring to go.

    Like

  17. thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    331 would be the joint 16th highest run chase in Test history.

    Like

      • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        I always quote those ones because so many seem to think a 300 target leaves the batting side favourites

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus July 9, 2017 / 1:38 pm

          How long before Root captaining Yorkshire to defeat against Middlesex at Lord’s defending over 400 is raised?

          Like

        • Mark July 9, 2017 / 1:47 pm

          SA will do well to get 250.

          Like

          • Mark July 9, 2017 / 1:55 pm

            458
            361
            233
            ? At this rate they will do well to get 150.

            Like

  18. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    It looks to me as if that great sportsman, Jimmy Anderson, is running all over the pitch. How many times has he got himself taken out of the attack for this?

    Like

    • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Just once as far as I know.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    SA have an upward battle: Injuries, Kolpak, IPL, ICC Swearing police, Duminy, …..and now Ravi!

    Like

  20. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Admittedly, Nasser Hussain would probably be just as bad an umpire. That looked like a poor decision against Elgar but the Sky boys didn’t say so. I would have thought more highly of Holding. Bumble and Botham would, I am sure, have been more sceptical

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mark July 9, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    That’s probably the champagne moment there. What a catch by Bairstow!

    Although as the batsman you must feel like the worlds against you on a pitch like this when you get out like that.

    Like

  22. Mark July 9, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Good news for Thelegglance. The experts (Nasser & Warne) inform me this is good pitch.So there you go then.

    Glad I don’t have to bat on it.

    Like

    • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      Thought that was quite an interesting discussion about the nature of a good pitch. Holding made a strong case for your side.

      Like

      • Mark July 9, 2017 / 2:41 pm

        It’s a matter of degrees I guess. I quite understand that you want the pitch to take spin at the latter part of the match, and not a dull score draw. I get that.

        But to have it turning on day 1 and also the uneven bounce on day 2 is I think is too much of a problem. In some ways the poor catching in this match, (Bairstow excused) has hidden the problem because both sides got more than they should in the first innings.

        On another day this match would already be finished with 275 playing 300 playing 180

        Like

  23. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Surely de Kock should bat before the great Duminy? Probably Morkel should come in before Duminy

    Like

  24. BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 2:27 pm

    D’ARTEZ!!!!!

    Like

      • Mark July 9, 2017 / 2:43 pm

        Right on tea as well. It was Goweresque from the Ashes all those years ago. Amla walked off like Gooch did.

        Like

  25. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    You get the feeling that, to win this, someone will have to do a Mark Butcher at Headingley… Cometh the hour, will Duminy come?

    Like

    • BoredInAustria July 9, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      cometh the ball before tea cometh Duminy

      Like

  26. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    The rub of the green has not really favoured the Proteas this match. It will be interesting to see if the great JPD gets another game

    Like

    • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      He’ll get another 50 Tests, unless he announces to retire. Quality innings, again, from JP Doet’t Nie.

      Like

  27. man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    Recent comments by Gower and Nasser are making my brain hurt. To suggest that it easier for Moeen now that Dawson is in the side and is, therefore, not the only spinner, the man on whom all depends…. Is the Indian series so easy to forget, with that total of over 700?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Yes they do this all the time and it’s annoying. I will mention by the way that Moeen’s average has gone under 40 here. He also has a career strike rate 30 balls per wicket better than Tufnell, and 10 balls per wicket better than Panesar. Which is a bit startling I must admit.

      Like

      • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 4:42 pm

        First England player to take 10 wickets and score a fifty in a match since Botham against India in 1980. And the sixth ever. Also quite startling.

        Like

      • man in a barrel July 9, 2017 / 5:00 pm

        Shall we wait to see how he does in Australia before we pull out the Tufnell stat? Hayden, Ponting, Waugh and Waugh were a tricky bunch for a finger-spinner down under

        Like

        • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 5:03 pm

          You could say the same about Kohli et al. It’s always the same for any player who plays long enough. Tufnell’s strike rate was pretty poor to say the least. It doesn’t make Moeen a world beater, but ignoring inconvenient good points is a bit odd. England don’t produce good spinners. Apart from Swann in the last 40 years, they all group around the same kind of area.

          Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        So he bats better, bowls better and fields better than Duminy. And his place is still in doubt, unlike Duminy’s. Something tells me that something is rotten in the state of CSA.

        Like

    • nonoxcol July 9, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Last completed Test series, Ali took 10 at 64.90 and another spinner in the same side whose name I forget took 23 at 37.43.

      This is a good example of why IDGAF about England any more. Actual facts will be bent way out of shape to serve a particular narrative.

      Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance July 9, 2017 / 4:26 pm

        37.43 was a failure though. Abject failure. Ignore that it’s in line with most England spinners in India, and definitely ignore the batting averages.

        Like

  28. Mark July 9, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    74/7 Test match done and dusted inside 4 days.

    Thank goodness we are playing on a good pitch.

    Like

  29. d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    If Duminy is not MOM for South Africa, I don’t know what he needs to do. Pathetic. The sooner the guy is forced to retire the better.He has only experience enough to be utterly pathetic for 9 years. Surely, that might be enough to actually call an end to his “illustrous career”.

    Like

  30. d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    How fitting was that the winning margin was Duminy + 33.

    Like

    • d'Arthez July 9, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      His net contribution for the Test was merely -178/2. Pick a proper batsman (revolutionary idea for CSA, picking a #4 who can at least bat), and it might have turned out to be a Test for the ages.

      By far the worst contributor in the game from any side. I don’t think anyone contributed -50/0 or worse from the game.

      Liked by 1 person

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