South Africa vs England 3rd Test Day 4: Root takes four to leave England within touching distance of victory

Joe Root four wickets South Africa England 3rd Test Day 4 Port Elizabeth cricket

Joe Root finished with figures of 4-31 off 19 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

England captain Joe Root carved through South Africa’s batting line-up with a four-wicket haul to leave his side four wickets away from victory on a rain-affected fourth day in Port Elizabeth.

Starting off the day on 208/6, South Africa failed to add any runs to their overnight score before Vernon Philander was clean bowled by Broad for 27.

Quinton de Kock was cleaned up by Sam Curran in the very next over for 63, which came off 139 balls and included nine boundaries.

Keshav Maharaj suffered the same fate as Philander before South Africa were bowled out for 209, which gave England a 290-run lead, when Kagiso Rabada was caught by Mark Wood at mid-off off the bowling of Broad for one run.

Dominic Bess was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Broad snapped up three, and Curran and Ben Stokes chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Choosing to enforce the follow on, England got an early breakthrough as South Africa opener Dean Elgar was clean bowled by Wood for 15.

Zubayr Hamza became Wood’s second victim when he was caught behind for two runs.

Pieter Malan only made 12 runs before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Root, who also took out Rassie van der Dussen for 10 runs shortly after.

Quinton de Kock failed to have an impact this time around as he was sent packing by Root for three runs.

Captain Faf du Plessis was the next to go as he was caught by Ollie Pope off the bowling of Root for 36.

Philander and Maharaj managed to forge an unbeaten 19-run partnership before stumps was called.

Philander finished on 13, which came off 44 balls and included two boundaries, while Maharaj remained undefeated on five.

Root was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Wood claimed two.

South Africa ended day four on 102/6, which still leaves them trailing by 188 runs, and will continue batting on Monday at 10:00 local time or 08:00 GMT.

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