South Africa 475 and 248-5 dec., England 342 and 52-3
Today was the penultimate day of cricket in this Test series, and the anti-penultimate day of my tour. It’s been an interesting day’s play, with South Africa in control despite early inroads by Jimmy Anderson and an inexplicable go-slow batting policy when South Africa surely should have been hitting out before the declaration. Now we’re into the final innings, I can draw together some of the series averages. Here are South Africa’s batting stats:
The match is almost won by South Africa now: they need seven more wickets in a day, with the pitch behaving dangerously and a bowling attack justifiably high in confidence. England, meanwhile, need to block out three sessions. I would say it was an impossible ask, except that it’s the kind of thing England have done before. The recent examples that spring to mind are Cardiff 2009, Centurion 2009, Cape Town 2010, Auckland 2013 and coming within two balls of it at Headingley in 2014. Few of the current players were involved in those games, though; will they have the mental strength to at least fight for a draw tomorrow?