LONDON - England continued to forge ahead in this first Test increasing their lead to 145 runs by tea on the third day as more bad luck was visited on South Africa who look like being without Vernon Philander for the remainder of the day.
England will resume on 48/0 for the final session of the day with former captain Alastair Cook on 31 and Keaton Jennings on 16.
To retain any hope of forcing what increasingly looks like an unlikely win South Africa will have to try and pick up at least five wickets in the last session. But they’ll have to do so without a key component of their attack as Philander will continue to receive treatment on his right hand.
He was struck in the region of his wrist by James Anderson while he was batting and despite considerable discomfort carved out a gritty half-century, his second at this venue and the sixth of his career.
South Africa were bowled out for 361 midway through the afternoon session, a deficit of 97. Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Philander all made fifties, but whereas England saw Joe Root go to a big hundred, none of the South Africans were able to add their names to the Lord’s Honours Board.
Philander in combination with Keshav Maharaj initially and then Morne Morkel was able to fashion out some useful runs as South Africa sought to atone for the errors that allowed England to score a substantial 458 in its first innings.
Philander had been struck on the hand before lunch but batted on bravely after the interval, his discomfort clear for all to see as he removed his hand off the bat handle with each jarring blow. In addition Mark Wood got one delivery to rear back into striking on the inner thigh and probably leaving him with a bruise their too.
Neverthless, he ignored the pain and hit seven fours in his 52 before he was clean bowled by Moeen Ali attempting to deposit the off-spinner into the Pavilion.
Moeen, who scored 87 in England’s first innings backed up that good effort with the bat, with a return of 4/59 when he bowled getting the ball to grip and spin viciously.
Anderson, Stuart Broad and left arm spinner Liam Dawson picked up two wickets apiece.
South Africa will hope Philander’s injury isn’t severe enough to keep him out of the second Test. He is already struggling with an ankle twinge and with
Kagiso Rabada suspended from the Trent Bridge Test, South Africa’s quickly bowling stocks are looking worryingly thin.