South Africa 60 for 2 (Bess 2-12) trail England 499 for 9 dec (Pope 135*, Stokes 117, Maharaj 5-180) by 439 runs
Ollie Pope scored a maiden Test hundred to follow the latest demonstration of Ben Stokes‘ immense value to the England cause as South Africa were backed into a corner in Port Elizabeth. The tone was set by England’s fifth-wicket pair during the morning session and followed up with some lower-order humpty, allowing Joe Root to declare – having also un-declared – in pursuit of wickets amid the evening gloom at St George’s Park.
Although South Africa responded with their second consecutive fifty stand between openers Dean Elgar and Pieter Malan, there was time for Dom Bess to strike twice before the close. With plenty of runs in the bank, signs of spin from the surface and Mark Wood also pushing the speed gun up to 150kph/93mph, England walked off in the belief that they had the tools to crack the Test open in pursuit of a series lead.
More to follow…