England v South Africa: Steven Finn believes in England win

Steven Finn
Steven Finn

Pace bowler Steven Finn insists England can win the final Test against South Africa to draw the series and save their number one ranking.

Set a target of 346, which would be England's highest successful run chase, the home side lost openers Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss late on the fourth day at Lord's to close on 16-2.

"Over a number of years, we've enjoyed breaking records and defying beliefs," said Finn, who took 4-75 to help bowl South Africa out for 351 and give him eight wickets in the match.

"We've got a great opportunity to assert ourselves on South Africa on the fifth morning and we really do believe we can win this game."

Cook and Strauss fell lbw to Vernon Philander in the final session on Sunday, leaving Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell to see England to the close without further loss.

On a pitch that has shown little sign of deteriorating, Finn says it is vital the hosts build partnerships on the final day.

"We'll be dealing with a ball that is 15 overs old and the two guys that are in have performed fantastically well for England for a long time," he said.

"Later in the day, we could have batsmen well set against a tired attack with an older ball. We have that belief in the dressing room and it's up to the batsmen to knuckle down."

Anything but victory would see England lose their number one Test ranking to South Africa, but Finn says saving is more important. England trail 1-0 after losing at The Oval and drawing at Headingley.

"The status obviously means a lot to us, but it's not what we're playing for," said the 23-year-old. "We're playing to level a series against a team that have played good cricket against us. We want to win and we believe we can."

Hashim Amla made 121 - he was bowled by Finn during a spell of 3-14 in five overs - to complement the triple century he scored in the first Test at The Oval.

He said: "We managed to get two big wickets this evening and that's put us in a really good position. But we understand that it's going to take a lot of hard work because it's still a decent wicket to bat on."

Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott review each day's play on the Test Match Special Podcast.

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