England vs South Africa: 3rd Test, Day Three – Wet

The forecast wet weather duly arrived not too long after lunch, and that was that for the day. South Africa had managed to save the follow on, and given the rain that may yet prove to be vital in going to the final match of the series all square. Temba Bavuma deserves all the plaudits for getting his team into a position whereby with some help from on high, it’s just about possible to see a potential escape. He was helped in adding 50 to the team’s overnight score by Vernon Philander, fresh out of hospital, but clearly far from recovered given his repeated trips off the field during England’s second innings. He’s plainly still not well at all. 

Toby Roland-Jones was the man to take the final wicket, and in doing so completed a five wicket haul. Cricket history is littered with examples of players who shone brightly at the start only to fade, and while nothing should be read into his achievement in terms of his international career, if nothing else he will have this match. But he’s bowled well, and certainly added to the potency of the England attack in helpful conditions. 

With no follow on option, it was for England to follow the pattern of the first two Tests and go out in the third innings and build a lead. The overhead cloud still assisted the bowlers and Morne Morkel in particular made life especially difficult, accounting for Cook for the 11th time with a good one that left him and clattered into off stump. At the other end Keaton Jennings was struggling badly against Philander, escaping being caught in the slips via a cordon that couldn’t react in time as the ball flew off the edge. 

That he’s struggled this series is obvious, but all players need a bit of luck, and perhaps that was just what he needed. He also escaped being given lbw on review, but towards the end of the possible play he was starting to look more fluent and more assured. Should he go on tomorrow, on such fine margins can sporting careers be made. 

Tom Westley in contrast has looked like he’s been waiting to bat in a Test match for years. Both in the first innings and today, his stroke making has been notable, his ease at the crease remarkable. Once again, it means little in terms of the longer term, but on brief evidence, he does at least appear at home in the environment. 

With England 252 ahead, a better forecast for the next two days and a pitch still offering some assistance to  the seamers, it’s hard to see much other than England creating a huge lead and then asking South Africa to bat the best part of four sessions to try and save it.  As so often, it might be best if England were bowled out removing the need for a decision, but even if South Africa were to have a great morning, the chances are the target won’t be below 350.

The people most pleased with today will be those with tickets for tomorrow.


59 thoughts on “England vs South Africa: 3rd Test, Day Three – Wet

  1. jomesy Jul 29, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Am I allowed to comment?


  2. jomesy Jul 29, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Problem with your site – pasting here:

    OK – I’ll go first and forgive me…

    Watched the morning session – Morkel – brilliant. Philander has Jennings on toast as soon as he’s half fit.

    Great ball to *bowl* cook…so there can be NO debate! πŸ˜‰ I enjoyed it. Cook is Morkel’s bunny. 11 and counting. Unless you don’t include yesterday’s of course.

    Had to record after that as responsible for some children…

    Watched the rainbow nation piece with Graeme Smith…brilliant. Him and Punter were my worst fears…but you could never really hate them because they were so effing good. It was a joy to listen to him talk about how he dealt with the pressure. Captain at 22? Great man.

    Anyway, conveniently, Comma, couldn’t remember some things that were important to him (very important) at the time as I recall, around KP texting people.

    There’s clearly some sort of wash going on. That’s fine as long as KP washes Jesus’ feet and then shakes hands with Judas.

    But….and it’s a massive but, but up pops KP (the man who whistles AND plays shots like no other) on replay!

    So I call the kids. Listen.

    More ability, determination and nous in his little finger than…

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jul 29, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Sorry, just want to nab you on the first bit (not the cricket comment!) – have you not been able to post?


    • thelegglance Jul 29, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      You missed out the fabulous Sangakkara interview by the way.


      • jomesy Jul 29, 2017 / 9:49 pm

        Wasn’t able to post – had to use different/clean device. I have SK recorded – tomorrow’s pleasure.


        • thelegglance Jul 29, 2017 / 9:52 pm

          I thought zero comments was a bit odd. Must be the site having an issue. That’s a joy btw. The whole interview is an absolute joy. You’ll love it.


          • jomesy Jul 29, 2017 / 10:03 pm

            Looking forward to it. SK’s Lords speech is the best I’ve heard.


          • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 5:14 am

            I reread the Sanga lecture as I had the chance to go to SL last year on business. Fabulous.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 29, 2017 / 10:43 pm


          Both your first two posts went to the Spam folder. No idea why. It’s also happened to an Oreston reply as well.

          Sometimes wordpress is a capricious beast.


          • jomesy Jul 29, 2017 / 11:17 pm

            From my perspective, it’s interesting which “device” worked.


          • oreston Jul 30, 2017 / 2:26 pm

            I was wondering what had happened to that…


  3. BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 6:46 am

    I spent the morning looking at the Cook Morkel battle and the SA vs ENG arm wrestling.
    (Hope it comes across somewhat readable):

    Cook vs Morkel record:
    18 Tests SA: 7, ENG: 5 Drawn: 5 (This test still in play)
    Cook: 34 Innings – Total 1206 runs at 35,47, 11 x 50, 2 x 100
    Morkel dismissed Cook 11 times ( Philander 5 / Steyn 4 / Ntini 3 / Rabada & Morris 2)

    All the Cook vs Morkel matches with ENG and Cook scores:
    Stand out innings 118 at Durban to support the win.

    2008 – Lords: Match Drawn
    I 1: ENG 593/8d Cook 60 c ABDV b Morkel (KP 152, Bell 199, Broad 76)

    2008 – Leeds: SA won by 10 Wickets
    I 1: ENG 203 Cook 18 c Boucher b Morkel KP 45, Bell 31
    I 3: ENG 327 Cook 60 (Kallis) Broad 67*

    2008 – Birmingham: SA won by 5 wickets
    I 1: ENG 231 Cook 76 (Nel) Bell 50
    I 3: ENG 363 Cook 9 (Ntini) KP 94 Colly 135

    2008 – Oval: ENG won by 6 wickets
    I 2: ENG 316 Cook 39 (Ntini) KP 100 Colly 61 Harm 49
    I 4: ENG 198/4 Cook 67(Ntini) Straus 58

    2009 – Centurion: Match Drawn
    I 2: ENG 356 Cook 15 (De Wet) KP 40 Colly 50 Swann 85
    I 4: ENG 228/9 Cook 12 (Harris) Trott 69 KP 81

    2009 – Durban: ENG won by an innings & 98 runs
    I 2: ENG 574/9d Cook 118 c Kallis b Morkel Strauss 54 Colly 91 Bell 140 Prior 60

    2010 – Cape Town: Match Drawn
    I 2: ENG 273 Cook 65 c Prince b Morkel Bell 48 Prior 76
    I 4 296/9 Cook 55 (De Wet) Bell 78 Strauss 45 Trott 42 Colly 40

    2010 – Johannesburg: SA won by Innings and 74 runs
    I 1: ENG 180 Cook 21 lbw Morkel Colly 47 Bell 35 Swann 27
    I 3: ENG 169 Cook 1 c Smith b Morkel Colly 71 Strauss 22

    2012 – Oval: SA won by innings and 12 runs
    I 1: ENG 385 Cook 115 (Steyn) Trott 71 KP 42 Prior 60
    I 3: ENG 240 Cook 0 (Philander) Bell 55 Prior 40

    2012 – Leeds: Match Drawn
    I 2: ENG 425 Cook 24 (Philander) KP 149 Prior 68
    I 4: ENG 130/4 Cook 46 (Steyn)

    2012 – Lords: SA won by 51 runs
    I 2: ENG 315 Cook 7 (Steyn) Bell 58 Bairstow 95
    I 4: ENG 294 Cook 3 (Philander) Trott 63 Bairstow 54 Prior 73

    2015 – Durban: ENG won by 241 runs
    I 1: ENG 303 Cook 0 (Steyn) Complton 85 Taylor 70
    I 3: ENG 326 Cook 7 (Piet) Compton 49 Root 73 Bairstow 79

    2016 – Cape Town: Match Drawn
    I 1: ENG 629/6d Cook 26 (Rabada) Hales 60 Root 50 Stoke 258 Bairstow 150
    I 3: ENG 159/6 Cook 8 (Rabada) Root 29 Stokes 26

    2016 – Johannesburg: ENG won by 7 wickets
    I 2: ENG 323 Cook 18 (Viljoen) Root 110 Stokes 58
    I 4 ENG 74 /3 Cook 43 (Morris)

    2016 – Centurion: SA won by 280 runs
    I 2: ENG 342 Cook 76 c de Kock b Morkel Root 76 Ali 66
    I 4: ENG 101Cook 5 c & b Morkel Root 20 Taylor 24

    2017 – Lords: ENG won by 211 runs
    I 1: ENG 458 Cook 3 (Philander) Root 190 Ali 87 Broad 57
    I 3: ENG 233 Cook 69 c Bav. B Morkel Bairstow 51

    2017 – Nottingham: SA won by 340 runs
    I 2: ENG 205 Cook 3 (Philander) Root 78 Bairstow 45
    I 4: ENG 133 Cook 42 (Morris) Ali 27

    2017 – Oval: Still in Play
    I 1: ENG 353 Cook lbw Morkel 88
    I 3: ENG 74/1 (day 3) Cook b Morkel 7


  4. SimonH Jul 30, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Bavuma’s shaping up as the modern day Gus Logie.

    He doesn’t cash in when the going’s easy but tends to score tough runs when the team’s in a hole.

    In the winter, he scored a crucial 80-odd in Hobart when the ball seamed all over the place, but was terrible against SL.


    • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 11:47 am

      As aspirations for a young player go, that wouldn’t be a bad one for him to try to emulate.


  5. Tom Jul 30, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Any opinions on when England should declare (assuming there isn’t a collapse in the afternoon)? From what I’ve read and hear, the pitch is much flatter now and the weather is better, but I’m a little worried the cautious approach England have had in the past will continue.

    A few overs of settling in after lunch and then an hour of T20 batting is the way I’d go, leaving 30 minutes of batting before tea and then another four sessions with attacking fields.

    I can’t read the pitch from here, though. Thoughts?


    • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Well, there have only ever been twenty 4th innings scores above 400 in Test match cricket, and only 4 of those ended in a winning chase.

      Currently England’s lead is 358. So they shouldn’t need many more if history is any guide.


      • Tom Jul 30, 2017 / 1:54 pm

        Thanks, Mark, appreciate that. I get the impression England are starting to hit out a little more but it’s time to hit the sack. I’ll catch up tomorrow.

        It’s nice to be back here and my best wishes to everyone.



  6. BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Root seems to still have concerns about the conditions. I suppose Faf’s marathon innings and Amla’s 300 on the honours board is playing on his mind…


    • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      There’s also 98 overs today and tomorrow to bear in mind. But it’s always a matter of trying to maximise your bowling time keeping on the attack throughout. Obviously South Africa aren’t going to get anywhere near, but that’s the factoring of runs/overs usually.


      • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 2:10 pm

        418 is the biggest score to win ever, and England are now 419. So SA will break the record if they make it.


        • d'Arthez Jul 30, 2017 / 2:36 pm

          Mind you, South Africa came quite close to breaking it in 2013. Albeit against India (in Johannesburg), and with the likes of Graeme Smith, Kallis and AB de Villiers. The first two have retired, the latter cannot be bothered to play Test cricket, unless it is against India (for financial reasons).


      • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 2:20 pm

        England does not seem concerned about the size of the lead, but about the time left… or am I missing something?


        • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 2:25 pm

          Well, the calculation is whether given the number of overs left, if South Africa batted all of them, would they be close to winning? It’s only when the run rate to do that is impossible (ignore the fact they won’t get the runs for a second) that you start losing potential overs effectively.

          (and yes, yes, I know but that’s the rationale)


          • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 2:38 pm

            I could imagine they want to get the pitch to deteriorate more before Amla settles…


      • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 2:27 pm

        I think Mo is trying to force the declaration before tea?


  7. Tom Jul 30, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    PS. Maybe this isn’t the right place to say this, but just before I really do hit the sack, I just wanted to say one more thing.

    In the new Cricinfo site, I now see betting odds right underneath live scorecards before the current stats and commentary. I don’t think that was there before but perhaps I didn’t notice it before. Personally, I find it a little distasteful, especially given the history of match fixing, and wondered if there was any reaction to this in the UK or elsewhere.

    Apologies for the distraction.


    • Zephirine Jul 30, 2017 / 2:30 pm

      I don’t like ex-players doing adverts for betting websites, for the same reason. Too cosy.


    • d'Arthez Jul 30, 2017 / 2:34 pm

      Betting odds were there before, mainly with regards to which batsman gets out first. But at least it was unobtrusive.


    • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 2:34 pm

      The whole site has been updated for the benefit of the sponsors. And yes, having betting company’s so prominent is a little distasteful, But someone has to pay Ed Smith’s wages.

      I just wish these corporates would be honest about it, and stop pretending they are making it better for us the reader. That is not their priority.


  8. Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Only one team in history has ever scored more in a 4th innings, and that was in a timeless test.

    The old fashioned concept of of giving the opposition a sniff so they will be tempted to go for it and play their shots doesn’t get a look in modern cricket does it?

    If Root declared with say 430 to get and SA got them would he get more criticism than if they are 9 wickets down at close of play tomorrow and the match is a draw?


    • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      Mmm. I’d refer you to the press response to India chasing 387 in Chennai.


  9. Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Shocking, Cook was the lowest scorer with only 7. Drop him!


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jul 30, 2017 / 3:05 pm

      That 7 was worth 100! πŸ˜‰


        • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 3:26 pm

          On Sky they were debating whether Root should consult Cook about the declaration target.

          What difference would that make?


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2017 / 3:33 pm

            Heino, Heino No.

            These stumps exploding for me.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2017 / 3:52 pm

            “oh ah oh oh” (in the voice of Morrissey)


          • oreston Jul 30, 2017 / 5:39 pm

            The difference is England would probably still be batting.


  10. Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Oh great, Sky are pushing the new Footbal season like fools gold. Apparently Jeff Stelling jumping around is more entertaining than the actual football these days.

    He has become the new Jim White with his deadline transfer window nonsense. Where hooded morons hang around outside stadiums waiting for top of the range Mercedes to come out and slide down the privacy glass window to reveal a manager saying….”no more business.” Before they rush over to do adverts for betting companies.

    What a croc…..


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2017 / 4:04 pm

      Football now like cheering on massive corporations rather than a sport. All that money and the top, top stars will all still rather play in Spain in their peak years.

      But one things. Stelling is a pro (his book, be warned, though, is utter fucking garbage written for idiots) and great at his job. Jim White, to borrow a charming turn of phrase from a friend of mine, is a UNESCO World Heritage ****.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 4:22 pm

        Yea, I wonder if the fans ever think about walking into their bank or supermarket and cheering the managers name? Do they walk around with their HSBC or Nat West shirts on?

        And now for the Premier league football results….

        Goldman Sachs 1 vs Volkswagen 0
        Amazon 2 vs General Motors 3
        Tesco 0 vs Zurich insurance 1
        Barclays 1 vs Ford 2
        Sainsburys 2 vs Microsoft 1
        Google 2 vs Shell Oil 2

        And now we go over to Karen Brady to explain which is the biggest brand.


        • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 4:24 pm

          Ironic you start with Volkswagen, given that Wolfsburg – town and football club – IS Volkswagen.


        • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 4:31 pm

          William Hill 3 vs Ladbrokes 2


  11. LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Probably the game over unless DuPlessis gets into a groove and the rest can stick it out. Losing Amla (who is also on a bit of a slide in his career – not that the commentators have noticed) is a big blow.

    Not a peep since then. Global T20 prep must be taking up all his time.


    • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Innings 1: 17.1 Anderson to du Plessis, out Lbw!! Faf leaves one and has been hit on the pad. He offered no shot and it looks close.

      Innings 2: 16.6 Stokes to du Plessis, out Lbw!! The impact doesn’t matter because he hasn’t offered a shot, and yeah, it’s hitting off-stump. du Plessis lbw b Stokes 0(1)


      • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 4:38 pm

        To be mildly controversial, I think ‘umpires call’ should be good enough even if it’s given not out on the field IF the batsman doesn’t play a shot.


        • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 4:45 pm

          Have you run that past Jonesy?


          • thelegglance Jul 30, 2017 / 4:50 pm

            I rather think he might agree! But I’ve never had any sympathy if you don’t play a shot.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2017 / 4:39 pm

        Just woken up from the rest from the exhaustion of all that cricket he’s played.

        Liked by 2 people

        • BoredInAustria Jul 30, 2017 / 4:45 pm

          “we” …. “keep fighting” .. I wonder what Philander thinks.


        • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 4:49 pm

          It’s embarrassing!

          The fact he has 520 likes is even worse.


  12. d'Arthez Jul 30, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    The pathetic performance continues. I am sure that AB is thinking, “I would really not be able to strengthen this batting lineup.”

    And I am sure Kyle Abbott is thinking: “Think I might be better than a chronically sick Philander”.


  13. Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Did Toby Roland Jones ever go on the Lions?


    • dannycricket Jul 30, 2017 / 5:55 pm

      Yes, he’s played 4 first class Lions games. A warmup game for New Zealand in 2013, and this winter he was in a game against Afghanistan and 2 against Sri Lanka A.


      • Mark Jul 30, 2017 / 6:06 pm

        I wonder why they haven’t given him a go before especially in English conditions. Don’t know how he will go in Australia where there is less seam movement.


        • quebecer Jul 31, 2017 / 2:18 am

          I’ll give a go at answering that if you don’t mind, Mark, with the caveat that I will present it with an air of authority that suggests it is fact when it is purely conjecture on my part.

          There can be no doubt that the two issues in the non selection of TRJ are as follows: firstly, he is not a Loughborough boy. He was not in the system, not getting the coaching there, not under their watchful eye doing all the things asked of him. Instead, in helpful Lords conditions, he’s spent the last few years learning how to bowl instead. This is not given the same credit as being a Loughborough product within the system. I remember Selvey once replying to my question of why Moores was chosen as England coach (the first time) over so many clearly more qualified and interested candidates. He said that Moores was the top product of the coaching system here, so by not picking him over the other candidates, what did that say about the ECB’s own system? I remember saying, “exactly” in response but I don’t think he got what I meant.

          Secondly, TRJ is not quick enough. Can you remember the last time a bowler who peaked in the low 80s was picked for England? The idea of adding a yard of pace before selection, of not being quick enough to trouble test class batsmen, that it’s OK on a green seamer in May but trust in dusty Chennai or flat as fuck Melbourne and it’s a disaster.

          This is a very interesting point as it points to what such conventional wisdom misses about possibly the most important qualities in any bowler, wrist position and seam position as the ball hits the deck. Philander has swing, but if you look it’s incredible how many times he has the seam – and it’s those deliveries that take his wickets. The same was true of McGrath, obviously. And TRJ has that quality. Wrist position on release, and seam position as the ball hits the deck. But it’s just not identified and valued. For some reason. That defies all evidence.

          See? Fact.


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