England take charge of fourth Test

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Anderson takes De Bruyn for fourth wicket
Fourth Investec Test, Old Trafford, day two
England 362 (108.4 overs): Bairstow 99, Stokes 58, Rabada 4-91
South Africa 220-9 (68.3 overs): Bavuma 46, Anderson 4-33, Broad 2-45
England lead by 142 runs

James Anderson took four wickets to give England a firm grip on the final Test against South Africa on day two at Old Trafford.

Bowling from the end bearing his name, Anderson claimed 3-6 in 24 balls to reduce the Proteas to 146-6.

They eventually lurched to 220-9, 142 behind.

Jonny Bairstow was earlier out for 99, adding 50 for the 10th wicket with Anderson, as England made 362 in their first innings.

That seemed slightly over par, with Anderson ramming home an advantage that looks set to result in England’s first home series win against South Africa since 1998.

The hosts will have the opportunity to bat the Proteas out of the game on Sunday, especially as the visitors’ task in the fourth innings is likely to be made more difficult by a surface showing some uneven bounce.

England are looking to give captain Joe Root victory in his first series in charge, as well as winning a first series in four.

Home comforts for Anderson

Lancashire’s Anderson needed only three deliveries to take his first wicket at the newly named James Anderson End, an inswinger trapping Dean Elgar leg before.

South Africa battled some disciplined England bowling for much of the afternoon but, after Heino Kuhn edged Moeen Ali’s off-spin to slip, Anderson got to work.

Once again charging in from his own end, Anderson nipped the ball off the seam to rip through the Proteas’ middle order.

Temba Bavuma played nicely for 46 only to be bowled playing no stroke, Faf du Plessis inside-edged on to his stumps and Theunis de Bruyn was caught at second slip.

When Keshav Maharaj was lbw to give Moeen his 20th wicket of the series and Quinton de Kock edged Stuart Broad behind, South Africa were in danger of being bowled out before the close.

Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel counter-attacked for a partnership of 31, ended when Rabada was incredibly held by Ben Stokes, one-handed at gully, off Broad on what turned out to be the final ball of the day.

Could it have been better for England?

Adding 102 runs to their overnight 260-6 and once again destroying the South Africa batting made it an excellent day for England, but it could have been even better if they had taken just some of the difficult chances that came their way.

Bavuma might have been run out on 23, but Moeen failed in his attempt to take the stumps, while two difficult chances were dropped in successive balls.

A flying Keaton Jennings could not hold on to De Bruyn off Anderson, while Stokes shelled a sharp catch at slip when De Kock edged Moeen.

Bairstow missed an edge off Maharaj and De Kock could also have been stumped by the England wicketkeeper.

Agony for brilliant Bairstow

Bairstow out for 99 after brilliant innings

When Broad was bowled by Morkel, England were 312-9, had lost four wickets for 60 runs and were in danger of leaving Bairstow stranded.

Scoring through the off side, he had added 20 to his overnight 33 but now had only last-man Anderson for company.

However, aided by some poor South Africa bowling and tactics of dropping the majority of their fielders to the boundary, Bairstow took 46 runs from the next 40 balls he faced, while at the same time only exposing Anderson to 15 deliveries.

In one Duanne Olivier over, he scooped over his shoulder for four, hit a mighty six down the ground and followed up with a late cut for another boundary.

On 99, facing the spin of Maharaj with the field up, he missed an ill-judged sweep and saw the umpire reward South Africa’s appeal.

The review came instantly, but could not save the Yorkshire batsman, whose brilliance did not result in a fourth Test century.

99 and out – stats corner

  • Bairstow became the 15th man to be out for 99 for England
  • He is the first since Kevin Pietersen against Bangladesh in 2010
  • He is only the second England batsman to be out lbw for 99 – and the 13th overall

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