England v South Africa: Second Test, Day Three: Live!

Morning! Lovely where I am in London, hopefully the same in Manchester in Test where England have taken the honours, comprehensively, over the first two days.

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As if it were foretold on the day his documentary was released, Ben Stokes slotted his 12th Test ton and first since taking over as skipper. Combining with Ben Foakes for a 173-run stand for the sixth wicket, they took the hosts from the red to a lead that looks massive in the context of this low-scoring series. For Foakes’ part, he saluted for a second Test century and his first since debut way back in 2018. He finished with a fantastic, unbeaten 113 by the time England declared 264 ahead at 415-9.

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The Proteas had nine overs to deal with in their second dig and made it through unscathed, set to resume this morning on 23 without loss. It is stating the obvious that Dean Elgar and his crew will need to bat all of today, and probably half of tomorrow, if they are to give their very capable bowling group something meaningful to work with in the fourth innings. If they can, good luck to them.

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But the pitch has noticeably slowed down from the surface the England seamers so enjoyed on the first day. If the South African openers can get through the first spells of Anderson, Robinson and Broad this won’t be a lost cause quite yet. On the other hand, early wickets could lead us down the path of a second three-day finish on the trot. And nobody wants that on a bank holiday weekend – right?

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Okay, I’m going to grab a coffee, then I look forward to your company. You know the drill: drop me a line, fire me off a tweet. If you’re up for a slightly longer recap of yesterday’s events, here I am with the BBC’s Daniel Norcross – him at the ground, me in my backyard. And while you’re listening to that, here’s Ali Martin’s match report.

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Key events

12th: South Africa 32-0 (Erwee 20, Elgar 11) OK, ignore my theory about Root/Leach – the first has a second around here. I wonder if that was the plan or if Stokes is sticking with it after the former skipper looked a bit of a handful with his first offering of the morning? To Elgar, he is bowling from very wide of the crease with a slip, leg slip and short leg; Bairstow also roams at short cover. Nice one too, researching it. Oooh, and there’s a sharp turn and a bounce! Great job by Elgar not to follow him with his blade and Foakes to glove him. interesting

11th: South Africa 32-0 (Erwee 20, Elgar 11) “Bowling from his own end, it’s Jimmy Anderson,” says the ground announcer. That was the end where Leach finished last night, reinforcing the argument that the Root over was designed to spin the senior spinner. Anderson starts over Erwee’s wicket and finds his line and length immediately, as expected. A bit of extra length later, the left-hander is delighted to drive carefully through cover, timing it well enough to reach the rope, but Jack Leach gets away like Carl Lewis, dragging it in the end. Much to like about his attitude this summer. Speaking of.

“I think what the new regime admires most about Leach (and Stokes in particular) is his mental toughness,” says Mark Hooper. “That famous 1 not out has meant Stokes backs him to always stand up when he needs to, which is arguably the most important trait at this level where you’re dealing with the ‘one per cent difference’ or whatever the new buzzword”.

Back to Jimmy, who beats Erwee with a chop to finish, well. “Absolutely out of shape,” says Jonny Bairstow at the end of the over, so no swing.

10th: South Africa 28-0 (Erwee 17, Elgar 11) Root gets a first slip to Erwee and hits him on the pad, prompting an ambitious call: not out, no review. It’s a useful start, targeting the stumps at that wide angle with his adjusters – he’s got 47 Test wickets, remember. Oh, as soon as I write he gives Erwee a half volley and drives it through cover for the first runs of the day, a boundary. “It’s also a day Dean Elgar will enjoy,” says Mark Butcher on TV. Absolutely.

The players are on the field! And it’s…Joe Root to play the first knock of the day! I suspect (I’m sure) this will be a change thing. PLAY!

“Good morning Adam.” And to you, Mark Unwin. “Currently on the train on the way to Old Trafford with two 10-year-olds going to their first Test match… Lots of snacks, drinks, technology and cash on hand for when they get bored… let’s see how much last time”.

Great! I hope it’s a special day for them and you. My first day in a Test Match was on day four in Melbourne, 1994-95, the day before Warney’s Ashes hat-trick. David Boon completed his 20th Test ton before Damien Fleming brought the house down in front of the stumps, including this absolute beauty. I’m up to 137 Tests now, should get to 150 by next year’s Ashes if all goes to plan. Yes, that’s one horrible boast

“A big day for Jack Leach?” asks Gary Naylor. “Take away his twin fives against New Zealand at Headingley, and he has only taken eight wickets since mid-May. I think he needs more variation to create more chances on decent pitches. Now is his chance to prove it.”

Good morning Gaz. I resist #RootMaths (Google it) excluding the ten in Yorkshire – it was an excellent performance under enormous pressure. I can only speak for the radio commentary team I was working on for this series, but almost all of us sacked him after Nottingham and were wrong to do so.

Before this series there was a nice interview a couple of weeks ago with Felix White. The key passage here is that Leach now believes – or, over time, is forced to believe by the new axis of leadership – that his ceiling is higher than he ever thought possible under the previous regime. For someone without any natural courage, my sense is that it is very important. I support him today.

“Good morning Adam,” tweets Harry Lang. “Can’t wait for today’s action. I’m on a boat somewhere in Lefkada in Greece. That’s really the only reason behind this missive. Cheers for the updates!” How do you do! Enjoy your vacation.

Wrapping up yesterday’s coverage, here’s Tanya Aldred’s write-up on Ben Foakes’ comments when speaking to the press after his unbeaten 113.

Barney is also in Manchester. One eye in the middle, the other on the balcony.

There was even time for a wonderful picture on the balcony in England: Stokes in shades of Lennon, slicked back, drinking unbranded water; Brendon McCullum by his side, all beards and shades and guns, hundreds on the bench, the game bowing, Stuart Broad, in a sleeveless shirt also loitering (yes, Stuart, we see you), soaking up the afternoon sun.

We have an early weather update from Ian Thompson. ” Good morning Adam. The forecast for Manchester is sunny intervals, a high of 21 and little chance of rain. Looks like a full days cricket.” Featured news. It looks great on TV. A little crazy, maybe.

“I’m totally disgusted!” roars Tim Maitland in Hong Kong to open the bowling for today’s correspondence. “Outraged! I’ve searched all over the interwebs and nobody seems to have taken advantage of the golden opportunity afforded us by yesterday’s two centuries to nail down a DIFFERENT POINTS FOR DIFFERENT FOAKES headline. I’ll make an official complaint.”

Unlike the 2019 World Cup final, when I think six national newspapers ran Champagne Super Over on the back (or front) cover. happy times

Ben Stokes is talking to Nick Knight on Sky. “We’re in a strong position and we can’t wait to get the ball in our hands. Today we have earned the right to be quite demanding”. Give Ben Foakes a lot of love. “I’m absolutely delighted for him. He’s the best wicketkeeper in the world and he’s shown what he can do with the bat.” On playing style, he explains that he wants to lead by example with his own positive approach. He talks about their chances of turning the ball over today after what the South Africans were able to do in yesterday’s first session in a dry Old Trafford square. He adds that he sees a big role for Jack Leach – he clearly supports his spinner.

preamble

Adam Collins

Adam Collins

Good morning! Lovely where I am in London, I hope the same in Manchester in Test, where England have taken the honors, comprehensively, for the first two days.

As if foretold on the day his documentary was released, Ben Stokes made his 12th Test pitch and first since taking over as skipper. Combining with Ben Foakes for a 173-run stand for the sixth wicket, they took the red hosts to a lead that seems massive in the context of this low-scoring series. For Foakes, he hailed a second Test century and his first since his debut in 2018. He finished with a superb unbeaten 113 as England declared 264 ahead at 415-9.

The Proteas had nine overs to face in their second dig and emerged unscathed, resuming this morning on the 23rd without loss. It is clear that Dean Elgar and his crew will need to bat all day today, and probably half of tomorrow, if they are to give their very capable bowling line-up something meaningful to work with in the fourth innings. If they can, good luck to them.

But the pitch has slowed down noticeably from the surface that England’s sandblasters enjoyed so much on day one. If the South African openers can get through the early spells of Anderson, Robinson and Broad, this will not be a lost cause just yet. On the other hand, the early gates could lead us down the path to a second three-day final on the trot. And nobody wants that on a bank holiday, right?

Okay, I’m going to have a coffee, then I look forward to your company. You know the drill: drop me a line, fire me a tweet. If you want a slightly longer summary of yesterday’s events, here I am with the BBC’s Daniel Norcross: him on the floor, me in the backyard. And while you’re listening to that, here’s Ali Martin’s match coverage.


#England #South #Africa #Test #Day #Live

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