Four Tests. Four remarkable fourth innings chases. Four swashbuckling tons from Johnny Bairstow.
The start of the summer felt like the breaking of a new dawn for England’s red ball team. It was a period where everything seemed to thrum with a frenetic energy as they swatted aside New Zealand and then India to reshape the parameters of this ancient game.
Now they face a new challenge and must find a way of keeping the good times rolling. After being bowled out for 165 with Kagiso Rabada’s 5-52 leading the vanguard, England watched on as opener Sarel Erwee registered 73 and then Keshav Maharaj and Marco Jansen plundered a pair of 41s to drive South Africa to 289-7 and a lead of 124.
Ben Stokes snared three wickets, including that of Erwee with a ripping bouncer, to drag his team back in the fight, but they’ll need a blockbuster third day to have a shot of winning.
Jansen remains unbeaten and he’s got Rabada for company. Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi are up next so England will want to wrap this up quick sticks and get the pads on.
My name is Dan. I’m really looking forward to this. They say the third day of a Test is ‘moving day’. Which way d’ya reckon this one’s going?