Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Rain might have had the final say on the third day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, but prior to that, South Africa put up a valiant fight, that was until Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 67 to hand England a 360-run lead.
Starting off the day on 220/9, South Africa only added six runs to their overnight score before they were bowled out when Duanne Olivier was caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad for four runs.
James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Broad snapped up three, Moeen took two and Toby Roland-Jones chipped in with one.
Having a 136-run lead in hand after bowling the Proteas out for 226, England did not make the best of starts to their second innings as opener Alastair Cook was caught by Theunis de Bruyn at gully off the bowling of Morne Morkel for 10 runs.
Tom Westley only made nine runs before becoming Morkel’s second victim, while Keaton Jennings scored 18 before being caught by Hashim Amla at first slip off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada.
Dawid Malan fared no better as he was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj for six runs, but captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes stemmed the bleeding with a 57-run partnership before Root was clean bowled by Olivier for 49.
Olivier then proceeded to take out Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow in quick succession for 23 and 10 runs respectively.
Moeen began to take the attack to South Africa after Bairstow’s departure and dominated the 58-run stand he put together with Roland-Jones.
Even after Maharaj got rid of Roland-Jones for 11, Moeen continued to fire until the the rain came.
With the rain refusing to relent, the umpires had no choice but to bring play to an end for the day.
Moeen, who accumulated a 13-run partnership with Broad, finished on 67 off 59 balls, which included eight boundaries and three sixes, while Broad has yet to get off the mark.
Olivier was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Morkel and Rabada picked up two wickets apiece. Maharaj, meanwhile, claimed one.
England ended day three on 224/8 and will continue batting on Monday at 11:00 local time or 10:00 GMT.