England 303 and 172/3, South Africa 214
At the beginning of today I would have said that the two teams were fairly evenly poised; now England are clearly favourites to win. They lead South Africa by 261 runs with just three wickets down in their second innings, and Joe Root and James Taylor are both settled in their 53-run partnership. South Africa lost their last six wickets for 77 runs in the first session of the day, with all the plaudits for the innings going to opener Dean Elgar, who made a solid century and carried his bat. The South African bowling attack, lacking Steyn for most of the innings due to a shoulder strain, looked dangerous at first and created numerous chances that were mostly not taken. Compton made a dogged 49, and after his dismissal Root and Taylor pushed on, looking almost entirely untroubled.
It’s been a very sociable day at the cricket for me: at lunch I met up with George (@georgedobell1) who was doing a Q&A session behind the grandstand. The first question he was asked was whether Moeen Ali and Nick Compton are underrated – as anyone who listens to Switch Hit or reads his articles will know, these are pretty much his favourite subjects, so I suspect some question fixing!
I spent the last session with some of England’s touring supporters – people wearing Barmy Army stash (I was very glad I’d picked my Barmy Army Ashes 2013/14 top to wear today, so I blended in and didn’t look like a newbie on her first tour!) and with numerous wonderful tales of their previous cricket tours, but who travel independently of the big tour groups. Hazel (@hackneyhaz) and Kate (@dutchbirdkate) I know well from twitter, but this was the first time I had met them in person. It was so nice to watch the game with a group of other cricket nuts! After the close of play I joined them when they headed over to the Hilton hotel, which is far plusher than I am used to, for drinks and snacks.
I really feel like I’m starting to get into the swing of this tour now, and getting a feel for Durban. And tomorrow I could, possibly, see my first ever overseas win!