Proteas set England a daunting target
South Africa 284 and 272
England 181 and 24/0
England require another 353 runs to win with 10 wickets remaining
PRETORIA – South Africa holds a significant advantage after setting England a target of 376 runs after posting a second-innings score of 272 in the first Test of the four-match series at SuperSport Park.
England made a good start to their chase with Rory Burns (18 not out) and Dom Sibley undefeated on 2 surviving the onslaught going into the tea break on 24 without loss trailing 352 runs.
The English bowling attack battled to find the breakthrough after Rassie van der Dussen and nightwatchman Anrich Nortje dug their heels in with a partnership of 91 runs.
Van der Dussen scored a maiden half-century on debut before Joffra Archer trapped him leg before wicket on 51 runs.
At the other end, Nortje produced one of the performances of the match holding his own scoring 40 runs for a crucial contribution.
Vernon Philander, who starred with the ball the day before was worth his weight in gold with the bat falling painstakingly short of scoring a half-century.
He combined well with Quinton de Kock for a partnership of 43 runs before the South African keeper edged a Ben Stokes ball to the keeper.
Philander kept South Africa’s second innings going until the bitter end before he feathered a Sam Curran ball to a leaping Jonny Bairstow behind the wickets ending a 100-minute stand on 46 runs.
Although he was on the expensive side, Archer proved to be England’s spearhead with an innings of 5 for 102 off 17 overs. Stokes was effective with the ball in hand with figures of 2/22 off eight overs.