SA - England Fourth Test

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SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 19 Jan 2016, 12:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Time to set this one up ?

Lots of SA selection discussions tacked on to the 3rd Test thread...


For England this one presents a chance to take the next step up , I think. In the Ashes series they seemed happy to rest on their laurels and weren't very competitive at The Oval : I am fairly sure Bayliss won't miss the chance to remind them that good teams want to keep winning even when the principal aim has been achieved.

Selection seems to be essentially just a case of who replaces Finn. Woakes or Footitt , I'd imagine (unless Jordan has been doing amazing things in the nets). I know who Olly will pick ...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:08 pm

Haven't seen much of this middle session but Cook and Amla appear heavily in charge. I did post after the last Test that I thought the obituaries for South Africa's batting were being written too early.

A ton now for Amla and - if this isn't a jinx - it looks as if Cook will join him on three figures shortly after tea. The debutant couldn't want a better man to ride shotgun with him - saw Amla help guide schoolboy Dominic Sibley to a double hundred in a Surrey county match a couple of years back.

Btw, I've moaned through much of this series about Bairstow behind the stumps. Today our luck's run out and it seems his mistakes will at last prove very expensive.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:35 pm

SA will be looking to turn this into 350/not many tonight.

England rather desperate to come back in this session but it's hard to see where the wickets are coming from. Anderson was economical in the middle session ; but the batsmen didn't look like getting out - and runs continued to flow at the other end. Broad curiously under bowled so far... His efforts at The Wanderers may have left him a bit weary.

Burst water pipe stops play ! That's a new one...

Leave you fellows to it - I've got a match tomorrow.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kingraf on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 2:26 pm

alfie wrote:
kingraf wrote:Nice of our Cook to give all the other openers a head start and still emerge as the best opener in the series. Stunning cricketer.

Indeed.  Those " ageist" selectors have a lot to answer for Smile

They really do though. I really can't digest the fact that an opening spot opened up at the end of last season and Cook, who had five successive FC matches with a 100 didn't even merit selection apparently.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 2:29 pm

Bit of an opening here for England with a double strike and the new ball not too far away. If SA can be restricted to less than 400, England are in the game and some of the batsmen should be highly motivated to make a score - Hales, Compton and Taylor have all done varying degrees of "okay" this series, and have all far from cemented their spots.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:16 pm

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by dummy_half on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:19 pm

And Moeen's golden arm strikes again. Something of a collapse from SA, going from 237-1 to 273-5, and letting a dominant position slip - obviously something that as an England fan I've seen us do often enough...

New ball due in an over as well - if we can knock one of these two over soon there will be an opening to keep SA to 350-ish, with didn't look remotely possible with Amla and Cook batting so well.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:43 pm

Hello Chaps, Chappesses,
Just checking in from my igloo on the west coast of New England.
Played a lot of cricket in my (bygone) time and watched a lot more, but:
I can never recall so many batsmen getting out playing on to their stumps (two more this innings), whether the slightest nick or something firmer.
Never happened when I was bowling, that's for sure. Or batting which is even more surprising.

What do you experts think?


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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:55 pm

Moeen currently takes a test wicket every 62 balls
Compared to Swann's career stats of every 60 balls, admittedly at a better economy.
Impressive comparison though when you consider all the talk when he was first selected, and the initial reluctance. He has really gone on to prove himself. Great player.

Even Warne was every 57.5 balls.



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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 4:10 pm

Strings - firstly, a very warm welcome to this forum.

I too like Moeen and particularly his work ethic. Ghastly expression but sure you know what I mean. He really works at his game. He deserves his wickets haul and continues to impress. The only note of caution and slight disagreement I would sound relates to him being ''great''. Too soon for such a judgment imo but that's not to knock the guy.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 4:31 pm

Thank you guildfordbat

He just keeps taking wickets and important ones.

Agreed on the "great" tag. I was just using it as a lazy word rather than suggesting he was Bradmanesque.

Good player though. Not to mention a pretty decent no.8

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 5:02 pm

Hi Kwini - good to have you back.

Don't know the answer to your question and don't claim to be an expert anyway but it may be to do with batsmen going more for their shots today in Test cricket and being prepared to play the ball more when away from their body, increasing the chances of an inside edge and drag on to the stumps.

Certainly the run rate in Test cricket is significantly higher than in the past which supports the first part of the above.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 5:13 pm

Strings Philander wrote:Thank you guildfordbat

He just keeps taking wickets and important ones.

Agreed on the "great" tag. I was just using it as a lazy word rather than suggesting he was Bradmanesque.

Good player though. Not to mention a pretty decent no.8

Strings - as you're a new boy here, it gives me the opportunity to retell this story about Moeen. Smile

I saw him score a lovely attacking century for Worcs in a Championship match against Surrey at the Oval in 2014. He was batting no. 3 then and really took on and bettered Batty and Ansari. However, what impressed me most was that at lunchtime soon after he was out there was no resting on his laurels - almost straightaway, he was on the outfield practising his bowling. Very hard not to like.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:05 pm

A pretty good day for South Africa although they'll be taking nothing for granted after the shocks last time.

Sessions 1 and 2 to the hosts. Session 3 to England but Bavuma and de Kock's unbeaten stand meant even that wasn't all one way traffic and must have given South Africa a further lift at the close.

From what I saw, fairly ordinary bowling and very ordinary keeping although that shouldn't take much away from Cook's splendid debut and Amla reaffirming his excellence. I'm still sure South Africa need someone like Duminy who can bat in the top 7 and bowl a dozen or so overs in a day; however, I'm even more sure that person shouldn't actually be Duminy himself! His dismissal was poor even though - as Strings posted - it gave another deserved wicket to Moeen.

For those in the UK with Sky tv, tonight's The Verdict programme with Alec Stewart could be interesting. I like him a lot, normally gives straight answers and doesn't duck issues. Looking forward to his take on Bairstow behind the stumps.

At a Surrey members' forum last season, Stewart looked back on his Test career referring to Jack Russell being dropped for another batsman and him (Stewart) having to play as keeper-batsman. It was clear Stewart didn't think much of that - ''We tried to solve a problem and made another.'' Suspect that might come up this evening.


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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:11 pm

Didn't Stewart and Russell have a combined average of over 70 at the time which dropped to around the 60 mark when the former's batting took a massive hit and the latter's replacements never cemented a place.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by msp83 on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:23 pm

South Africa's day overall. A typical, flowing, graceful innings from Hashim Amla. He looked so much like his old self here. The 200 was a good innings, but this was the real Hashim we know out in full flow.......
Good recovery from Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to save them from chucking it all in after that fine start, but they have a job to do tomorrow. Failure for AB, and JP Duminy failed to surprise, and what on earth was he doing at 5 anyways? Fair enough he was picked over the out of sorts Faf du Plessis, but 5? Seriously?
The performer of theday undoubtedly was Stephen Cook. A very composed innings from Cook, though he had a bit of a tough time in the 90s. Yes, the pitch wasn't the most challenging one, yes the bowling wasn't on top form. But Cook showed what a massive improvement he is on the totally out of sorts Styan van Zyl who played at least 3 tests too many after he emphatically proved himself not good enough at this level. Cook may not be a military medium pie chucker who on a good day can bowl a couple of semi decent overs, but he has the look of a proper batsman. Hopefully, he will kick on and provide the South African top order the much needed stability in the company of Dean Elgar. At least for 2-3 years.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:25 pm

James Anderson has been absolute rubbish this tour
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:28 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Didn't Stewart and Russell have a combined average of over 70 at the time which dropped to around the 60 mark when the former's batting took a massive hit and the latter's replacements never cemented a place.

I don't know the figures but that was the gist of what Stewart was getting at.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:50 pm

Hi guildford,
Yup, maybe. but it just seems "played on" amounts to a disproportionately high %age of dismissals, however the batsman is playing. 'Course, each dismissal is subject to greater analysis and statistical digestion.
Back to the ice-fishing . . . . . .

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 7:10 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Hi guildford,
Yup, maybe. but it just seems "played on" amounts to a disproportionately high %age of dismissals, however the batsman is playing. 'Course, each dismissal is subject to greater analysis and statistical digestion.
Back to the ice-fishing . . . . . .

Kwini - also bear in mind that having Bairstow as keeper lessens the likelihood of anyone being caught behind and thus increases the chances of other types of dismissal including ''played on''. Wink

Hope you and Wayne Gretzky enjoy the ice-fishing. Very Happy

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by robbo277 on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 7:44 pm

Has Anderson got back to full fitness? Maybe being rushed back onto a road that offered nothing for him, has taken its toll. He's taken 3 wickets - du Plessis and a couple of tail enders - for 233 runs this series and was expensive today. Hoping it's different in the summer when he's back in England, but with Wood especially breathing down his neck and Broad showing he's more than happy to lead the attack, Anderson will need to bounce back strongly from this. The injuries are starting to add up and he just hasn't been at the races this series.

Bairstow as well will want to take everything that comes his way tomorrow and hope to end the innings fairly quickly. I wonder long term if England can make room for Bairstow in the middle order and Buttler at 7, as Baistow seems to be in fine nick at the moment with the bat, but England's middle order is strong - certainly 4-6 where you'd be looking to get Bairstow in. There's an option of moving Root or Taylor to 3, but would you want to mess with what's working?

Keeping track of the score during the day, England managed to turn a 1/10 day into a 4/10 day. Were on course for a par day being asked to bowl first until that last partnership. Not out of it by a long stretch, but will need a good day tomorrow to first get rid of South Africa for under 400, and then to get to around 200 by close without the loss of too many wickets.

I agree with the above, Hales, Compton and Taylor could all do with runs, as could Ali Cook. He's won the series and his place is secure in the team for now, but he'll want some runs so he can remember this series with a bit of personal pride, especially if a ton can get England back into this game and turn it round.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 12:22 am

Stewart on Bairstow briefly covered on the Surrey thread.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 9:11 am

Good start to the day by England with the two quick wickets (despite the drop of De Kock)
One more now could see this wrapped up smartly : Abbott will have other plans...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 9:21 am

Olly wrote:James Anderson has been absolute rubbish this tour

Bit of an overstatement I think ...Yes he's been short of his best (perhaps understandably coming back from injury) ; but although he's not taken wickets his economy rate has been generally good - and that is not something to be disregarded in a team context. He hasn't had much luck either - the miss this morning was not the first.
I didn't see his opening spell at Wanderers - I gather it wasn't too good - but I reckon he bowled quite well thereafter , even if he had little to show for it. Yesterday with the ball not swinging he concentrated on control ; and did that job quite well bar the last over...
I am not going to worry unless he goes round the park in the early Tests in the summer.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 9:25 am

Good fifty for De Kock clap

Thought he was a little lucky to get straight back as Vilas kept quite well...but he is repaying the faith.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 9:45 am

alfie wrote:
Olly wrote:James Anderson has been absolute rubbish this tour

Bit of an overstatement I think ...Yes he's been short of his best (perhaps understandably coming back from injury) ; but although he's not taken wickets his economy rate has been generally good - and that is not something to be disregarded in a team context. He hasn't had much luck either - the miss this morning was not the first.
I didn't see his opening spell at Wanderers - I gather it wasn't too good - but I reckon he bowled quite well thereafter , even if he had little to show for it.  Yesterday with the ball not swinging he concentrated on control ; and did that job quite well bar the last over...
I am not going to worry unless he goes round the park in the early Tests in the summer.

This is a good example of where and why I like Alec Stewart.

On Sky tv's The Verdict last night, Colville ended the programme by asking Mark Butcher, Bob Willis and Stewart who they would open the bowling with today.

Both Butcher and Willis went with Stokes and Broad on the grounds they ''were the pick of the seamers today'' - characteristically their responses were heavily influenced by immediate events. Stewart, on the other hand, replied, ''I would give it to Jimmy. He's allowed to have an off day. He's that good a bowler. I would start with Broad and Anderson, the two best bowlers. Go and do it, make up for what you did today.''

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 10:28 am

Piedt doing a good job in supporting De Kock past the 400.

SA will be happy to have this sort of score ; think this is a pretty bat-friendly surface , but runs on the board are a great start...

England would have hoped to be batting by lunch after those early successes ; but it hasn't happened.

More luck for De Kock : edge that no one went for ; probably was a slip catch ; but perhaps Cook and Bairstow are having a little difficulty in working out who goes when - as in the Amla case yesterday morning.
Comms are flagging that England may be getting their catching distances in SA conditions a little wrong...might be something in that.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 10:31 am

That was bairstows catch imo, what a shambles our catching has been this series
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 10:44 am

Olly wrote:That was bairstows catch imo, what a shambles our catching has been this series

Definitely Bairstow's that one.

The drops and misses haven't been too expensive up until this Test but the chickens are coming home to roost now.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 11:32 am

Few drops today...Cook shells one at cover off De Kock. Seems to be "catching" Smile

Ah well . They were good at Wanderers and the series is won so I'm not going to get too steamed up. But I'm a little surprised so many chance have been missed here. One might be tempted to think they are a bit switched off ; but I'm not sure that's true. Just think SA have got on top and the confidence has slipped a bit.

Going to need to hit back with the bat when they eventually get the chance , or this is going to end poorly. Which would be disappointing after such a fine achievement in winning in SA.

De Kock to 99 ...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 11:39 am

Well played De Kock on your hundred clap

Rode his luck a bit ; but he's seen SA to a score from which they are unlikely to lose.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 11:45 am

Amla reminds me of Smith last year in this series as do SA in general, performing when it doesn't matter but failing when the pressure is on. England have a terrible habit of switching off in dead rubbers too.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 12:12 pm

Suppose I'd rather they performed when it counts and switched off for the dead rubbers...not that I'm sure that's the case here ; think they've just been outplayed.
Good pitch , solid opener and fine number three took it away from them yesterday and all their best efforts haven't been able to bring it back. Catch de Kock this morning and the story might be different - but that's cricket.

You'd think SA should win from here ; but I hope England don't fold up and concede. Good solid batting on this ought to be capable of forcing a draw.

Stokes gets Piedt at last...the number ten did a good job for his team clap

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 12:28 pm

475 it is.

De Kock red ink and a fine century ...Stokes finishes with four scalps - well earned I reckon. Probably the pick of the bowlers over the 130 odd overs.

Think that is fifty or more over par. Whether SA can use it force a win we shall see...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 12:48 pm

Will be interesting to see how SA's bowlers perform on here from a position of strength.

Quite apart from the match situation , several of the England players will be anxious to get some runs. Cook has missed out so far ; while Compton , Taylor and especially Hales need to score to shore up their positions in the team.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 1:04 pm

Oh dear...Hales will be kicking himself.

Several nice strokes and then he's gone to a soft clip to cover...

Not the end for him but he's not going to get unlimited chances : reckon he's missed a good chance to fill his boots here.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 1:28 pm

Oh dear indeed! Hales really needs a score in this match so as to put at least a bit of glue on his place.

Meanwhile, Stokes - my wild card for England's leading wicket taker in the series - gets a deserved fourfer which takes him to 11, level with Finn and 1 ahead of Olly's man Moeen. Mind you, it'll need something sensational to overtake Broad's current tally of 17!

Tend to think on very similar lines to Alfie that maybe South Africa scored about 60 to 70 better than par. Thought the South African commentators were overly keen on looking for a declaration - still plenty of time left.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 1:39 pm

Stokes won't catch Broad but I think he has developed as a bowler on this tour - quite part from his batting. Not just the wickets ; he's also been steadier , less loose stuff and hence a much better economy rate.
One of the real success stories of this series.

Alas Hales has been the opposite. I think they'll still give him a chance at home in the start of the summer...but my confidence in his chances of making it in the five day game is slipping away. Seems to be a curse on that opening spot Smile

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 1:49 pm

Yes Hales by no means guaranteed to keep his slot for too much longer unless he can tie a string of good scores together. As for how this test stands I'd say if England scramble past the follow-on mark of 276 then a draw looks a really good bet. For South Africa to press home this advantage they now have you feel they must look to enforce the follow-on or they could be beaten by the clock. The only prospect of an England win from here is very slim but to do that they'd need to bat very big and score around 550 and then steamroller South Africa for around 200 - certainly highly unlikely. My money is on the draw.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 2:33 pm

Uneven bounce does Compton who is out for an lbw. Another keeps low to Root. Is the pitch now beginning to become more of a challenge to bat on? England 79 for 2.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:58 pm

England will settle for their progress in the final session of play as they close on 138 for 2 (trailing by 337). Cook 67 not out and Root 31 not out.

Tomorrow will go a long way to deciding how this match ends up. If England can bat through the day and be up around South Africa's total with even a couple of wickets left they may still have an outside chance of pressing for the win. More likely that England will be bowled out by tea for a score around 400 and South Africa would still harbour hopes of chasing the win in the two days and one session that remains.

The key feature is how the pitch will play? A few deliveries today have kept low and if that trend increases then a positive result becomes more likely.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:22 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:England will settle for their progress in the final session of play as they close on 138 for 2 (trailing by 337). Cook 67 not out and Root 31 not out.

Tomorrow will go a long way to deciding how this match ends up. If England can bat through the day and be up around South Africa's total with even a couple of wickets left they may still have an outside chance of pressing for the win. More likely that England will be bowled out by tea for a score around 400 and South Africa would still harbour hopes of chasing the win in the two days and one session that remains.

The key feature is how the pitch will play? A few deliveries today have kept low and if that trend increases then a positive result becomes more likely.

No disagreements there, Craig.

How much of a moving day tomorrow becomes obviously remains to be seen but a bad first session for England and we'll certainly be very much up against it. Probably a bit of a surprise that having generally bowled disappointingly, we're still in this game and - as per your post - could even be on top tomorrow night if things then go our way. All very hard to predict.

One factor which could work in our favour tomorrow is South Africa lacking a fifth frontline bowler. That could see runs come in mid to late afternoon provided we don't cave earlier in the day.

Two main England's positives today. 1) Stokes' bowling, much improved throughout this series as Alfie flagged; and 2) overdue runs for Cook that can only do him good.


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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:26 pm

I think Stokes is maturing now as a bowler and has really contributed with the ball in this series. As for Cook it is a settling knock from him and tomorrow could see him go past 10,000 runs in test cricket.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by msp83 on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:59 pm

Stokes has been an underrated bowler on these forums. He doesn't swing it big, doesn't get massive seam movement, doesn't get the bounce of say a Steven Finn. But he can bowl a what they call a heavy ball and surprise the batsman. He keeps up a decent speed, and his accuracy is improving. I have said it before, he's their best 4th seamer option as he's a better all-condition bowler than the competitions.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:31 pm

Think its becoming more obvious we need to move Compton to open with Cook, Taylor to 3, Bairstow as a specialist bat at 5 and then Buttler or another to keep wicket and bat at 7.

Bairstow's keeping is as bad as I've seen on the international stage.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 8:11 pm

I want to see the same team maintained for the home summer - or at least the Sri Lanka series. With the exception of getting Mark Wood back in there if he's fit and on form. Give Hales a chance in home conditions, especially as he's committed to the start of the county season too and can hopefully play himself in there. There's no-one knocking down the door either. Same goes for Taylor and Compton.

Too much reactionary chopping and changing all the time - gives no-one a fair crack of the whip and a chance to settle. It's a big step up made all the harder if you have the pressure of knowing you only get 2-3 match grace these days. I think there's a real danger of missing out on some top talent if the revolving door keeps spinning.

Plus there is no real pressure to make changes (beyond the usual everyday English media pressure to change anything just because...) England have won the series. It's a great base to build from. Lets see what the confidence does for this XI in home conditions.

I'm not saying Hales, if given the chance, will crack on and become the long term opener. I'm just staying I can't form a full opinion yet knowing he hadn't been given it. Nor on Compton and Taylor at 3 & 5.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by JDizzle on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 10:10 pm

Good post Strings. I'd like to see pretty much the same team for the SL series too. Disagree about Wood though, I think Anderson-Broad-Finn is our best attack. I like Wood, but that leaves him on the sideline for me.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Duty281 on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 2:53 am

Unsurprising that Hales has struggled. As I said previously, he should have made his debut in more familiar home conditions, thus allowing him the chance to settle with confidence. Whilst I do, for the sake of sanity, think Hales should be persevered with for the upcoming home tests, he will be under great amounts of pressure and scrutiny.

Another failing of the England selectors.

And it looks as though Anderson has a maximum 12-18 months lifespan on his England test career. We can expect Broad to assert himself as the number one seamer in that time, before Anderson is gradually phased out.

As for this test, expect one of Cook/Root to make a double ton. thumbsup

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by LivinginItaly on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 7:05 am

If both cook and root make tons then this game could still have all three outcomes possible. However, the more likely scenario is that we will be trying to bat out four or five sessions in the 4th innings an increasingly unpredictable pitch with uneven bounce. We have to go big in this first innings, both in terms of runs and taking time out of the game. I will be more confident if we are still batting at the end of today.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:24 am

Indeed England will want to bat all of today. If they can do so then pretty well anything could happen over the last two days...but I agree if they are bowled out well behind on first innings then they face a battle to save the game on the last day. Has already been some uneven bounce ; and that is likely to get more pronounced.
SA problem could be lack of a fourth pace man. They really need Piedt to lock up his end...thought he bowled well last night : England won't want to let him settle into too comfortable a rhythm...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:27 am

The first target for England is to avoid the follow-on and they are now 100 runs away from that target on 176 for 2 with this Cook/Root partnership nearing a century stand.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

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