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Lord’s Test, Day 3: Alastair Cook scores fifty as England tighten grip against South Africa

first_imgEngland made painstakingly slow progress in building a 216-run lead in the first Test against South Africa on Saturday, with Alastair Cook’s circumspect 59 not out pushing the team to 119-1 at stumps on Day 3.Cook, England’s record run-scorer, went 38 minutes without scoring at one point in his gritty innings in the Lord’s sunshine and had a strike rate of 35.97.England were going at 2.33 runs per over but was in total control of the opening match of the four-Test series, with Gary Ballance, on 22, alongside Cook at the close.South Africa, who were dismissed for 361 just after lunch to trail by 97 runs after the first innings, toiled away but missed the workload of paceman Vernon Philander, who sustained excessive swelling to his bowling hand while batting.Philander didn’t bowl but should return to the attack on Sunday, although the Proteas already will be resigned to simply saving the Test.Left-handed opener Keaton Jennings was the only England player to depart after wafting outside off stump and nicking Morne Morkel’s delivery to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for 33.De Kock and Philander scored contrasting half-centuries after South Africa started Day 3 on 214-5, still 244 runs behind England’s first-innings total of 458 all out.The highlight of an otherwise slow day’s play was the cameo by De Kock, who struck a 36-ball fifty – the second-fasTest at Lord’s – that contained 10 fours. It raised questions as to why he is batting as low as No. 7.The wicketkeeper was out for 51, caught by a diving Ben Stokes at square cover off Jimmy Anderson, the bowler who jammed Philander’s right hand with a delivery that generated extra bounce. Philander threw his bat on the ground, received treatment, and looked in discomfort for the rest of his 86-ball 52.advertisementHe had an X-ray after South Africa’s innings and didn’t return to the field, replaced by Chris Morris. Cricket South Africa confirmed Philander didn’t sustain a fracture.Proteas overnight batsmen Kagiso Rabada (27) and Temba Bavuma (59, after resuming on 48 not out) departed in the first half hour. After lunch, Liam Dawson trapped Keshav Maharaj (9) lbw, with a not-out decision overturned on review, before Philander played onto his stumps against Moeen Ali soon after reaching his fifth Test fifty.Morne Morkel was unbeaten on 2 and Ali finished with figures of 4-59.last_img read more