Test Match Evenly Poised As England And South Africa Fight For Top Test Ranking

Jonathan Bairstow of England scored 95 on debut (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Test Match Evenly Poised As England And South Africa Fight For Top Test Ranking

The Test match at Lords will decide which team becomes world number one in Test cricket. And till day 3 , the match has lived upto its billing. In yet another gripping day's play, neither of the two teams gave the other a quarter. South Africa finished the day 139 runs ahead, but have lost three of their best batsmen in the process.

Resuming the day at 208/5, England lost Matt Prior to the first ball with the new ball as he attempted an ill adviced drive off Philander. Broad and Swann thereafter played their part in supporting Bairstow as the Yorkshireman approached his maiden century. However, that was not to be as Bairstow got bowled by Morkel for 95. The tailenders made a nuisance out of themselves and took the score beyond South Africa's. Swann made 37*, while Morkel and Steyn snared 4 wickets each.

Trailing by 6 runs, the Proteans made slow progress. Swann who came into the attack early started weaving a web around the South African captain. And he was rewarded for his intelligent bowling as Smith lost his cool and was adjudged lbw. Petersen joined his captain soon after as Broad started getting the ball to talk. At 50 for two, England would have felt confident of running through the top order. However, Kallis joined forces with Amla as the two of them went about guiding their team to safety. There was to be a final twist in the tale as Finn dismissed Kallis just 4 overs before end of play. The allrounder was once again left fuming as he did not agree with the UDRS. Steyn who came in as a nightwatchman batted out the rest of the overs, as Amla treated everyone to some luscious drives. Amla who stayed unbeaten on 57 runs could very well the deciding factor as South Africa look to make the challenging total into an insurmountable one.

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