Thanks to counterattacking knock by Quinton de Kock, South Africa have fought back brilliantly on a rain curtailed 3rd day against England played at ST George Park, Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Starting on the overnight score of 60 for 2, it was a brilliant start for the visitors as Dom Bess dismissed Dean Elgar and South African Faf du Plessis in quick succession to leave the hosts in trouble at 71 for 4. The night-watchman Anrich Nortje looked solid with his defensive technique and frustrated the England bowlers. Rassie Van der Dussen showed his intent against Dom Bess with attacking stroke play. Bess picked his maiden five wicket haul in Test cricket dismissing Dussen for 24. Dussen and Nortje added 38 runs for the 5th wicket. After the arrival of de Kock at the crease, rain arrived with the score reading 113 for 5. The umpires called it lunch.
The rain was so heavy as the match did not start after the tea break. There was some good news for cricket fans, as the rain stopped, and match started. Quinton de Kock survived drop chances from Ben Stokes at slips. He took the advantage of the chances with positive stroke play and made England pay. Anrich Nortje was finally dismissed for 18 off 136 balls. Nortje and de Kock added 45 runs for the 6th wicket. Vernon Philander came to the crease and looked positive with his stroke play. De Kock reached his fifty off 94 balls. The England captain Joe Root took the 2nd new ball in the 82nd over.
De Kock and Philander showed their class making sure that they fight to stay alive. South Africa ended the 3rd day at 208 for 6. De Kock and Philander have added so far 54 runs for the 7th wicket. The umpires decided to call off play due to bad light.
As far England captain Joe Root is concerned, Ben Stokes was not utilised properly as he was given just 5 overs.
With 92 runs to save the follow on and four wickets remaining, the weather looking not good, it will be interesting to see if this match produces result.
South Africa 208 for 6 in 82 overs (Quinton de Kock 63*, Elgar 35, Dom Bess 5/51) trail England 499 for 9 in 152 overs (Ollie Pope 135*, Ben Stokes 120, Keshav Maharaj 5/180, Kagiso Rabada 2/97) by 291 runs.