England take slight first innings lead over South Africa


JOHANNESBURG: Jonny Bairstow scored a brisk 45 to help England to a 10-run first innings lead over South Africa before Kagiso Rabada completed a first test five-wicket haul on the third day of the third test at the Wanderers on Saturday.

Bairstow added 41 runs to his overnight total to propel England, who resumed the day on 238-5, to 323 despite losing overnight partner Joe Root (110) early in the first session.

South Africa, who scored 313 in their first innings, were 16 without loss at lunch as they went about setting England a formidable target to give themselves a chance to level the series.

Dean Elgar (10) and Stiaan van Zyl on six were not out at the start of their second innings.

The 20-year-old Rabada added three wickets on Saturday to finish with figures of 5-78 as he dismissed Root, Stuart Broad and took the last wicket of Bairstow.

Root added just four runs to his overnight total before getting a feint inside edge to an in-swinging delivery as the home side made an early breakthrough on a cloudy morning.

He reviewed the umpire’s decision but technology showed a snick to the delight of home supporters after Root had dominated the second day with his unbeaten century.

Moeen Ali (19) dispatched three lusty boundaries in a quick appearance at the wicket before edging a delivery from Chris Morris that saw wicketkeeper Dane Vilas pull off a stunning diving catch.

Rabada then bowled Broad with a fullish delivery for 12 as England edged towards South Africa’s score.

Steven Finn got the slightest touch off his gloves to a rising delivery from Morne Morkel and was caught behind without scoring. His dismissal was only confirmed after South Africa reviewed the umpire’s original not out decision.

Bairstow then swung his bat to knock off the deficit and build up a slender lead before pulling high to mid-wicket where Van Zyl caught him to end the innings.

Play began 30 minutes early on Saturday in an effort to make up time lost when bad light and then rain brought a premature half to Friday’s play.

England lead the series 1-0 after victory in the first test by 241 run with the second drawn. The fourth test starts in Pretoria next week.

REUTERS