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Live Reporting

Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    So, according to Geoffrey, England have it all but wrapped up.

    Is he right? (Is he ever wrong?) Join us tomorrow to find out.

  2. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a 1% chance of South Africa winning and 2% of saving it. I would be amazingly surprised if England don't win. Amla, the South Africa captain, is under immense pressure."

  3. Post update

    England fast bowler Steven Finn, speaking to Sky Sports: "We built pressure nicely after tea. We knew they were going to come out and go for it. They played really well and maybe we chased it slightly before tea.

    "It's tricky to know when to attack and when not to attack and as a team we can go through the gears. Ideally, we would have seen the back of De Villiers, but we have created pressure there and he'll be a tough wicket for us tomorrow.

    "When we went out there we had a target in mind of what we wanted to set and hopefully that will be vindicated tomorrow. We'll come back tomorrow and try and dry up those runs and hopefully that will bring us those wickets."

  4. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    AB de Villiers stands with Faf du Plessis

    "De Villiers is a class apart, he just has so much time to play his shots, he looks comfortable. Lesser players play and miss an odd time, but he doesn't look in any trouble. He's the big fish they need to get tomorrow."

  5. Post update

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "We have to make Test cricket cheaper to watch and that is especially true in England where the prices can be outrageous.

    "We almost have to look at Test cricket like the county championship. The one-dayers and Twenty20 can pay for Tests. If we have to give tickets away for Test matches then let’s do it. Seeing rows and rows of empty seats is a poor advert. The casual TV viewer will turn over thinking why should I bother?

    "The product itself is not what it used to be. The standard of Test cricket has declined. There are three decent teams at the top. The rest are fairly average and in most cases declining further."

  6. Post update

    Meanwhile, there's some interesting stuff from Michael Vaughan in his column for the Telegraph...

  7. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The pitch is slower and lower and didn't do anything for the seamers. The openers got their heads down and looked comfortable but Finn and Moeen have the gift of getting wickets. He gets four wickets a Test match does Finn - that's huge. He'd play in my team every time."

  8. Post update

    England have won only one of their last 15 Test matches overseas. That run dates back to 2012. Even though they won the Ashes in the summer, they are still without a win in four matches. They are six good bits of cricket from halting that run.

  9. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    England celebrate

    "England had such a wonderful day. Root and the tail got us off nicely and then it was the Bairstow show. The timing of his shots were superb. He played the first and second innings perfectly and he was the only batsman that played with any fluency. It was a shame that he got out, but that is his nature."

  10. Get Involved


    Rob Parrett: Fair play to Cook. That was a sharp catch - you don't often see slips take catches on the inside!

    Jon Buckley: Thanks Mr Finn. Like England I was flagging at the end of a day in the office. Celebrations (other Xmas chocs available) all round.

  11. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The stumping chance went quickly, you have to take them, but it was difficult, and it would have been a big wicket to get De Villiers. If you get him out I feel the others are nothing special. I joked to the South African commentators that we could have asked for the extra half an hour because of their tail being so weak."

  12. Post update

    Yep, when England needed something special, they got it from the extra pace of Steven Finn. The Middlesex man delivered three big wickets - Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis. Remember, Finn has the best strike-rate of any bowler to take more than 100 Test wickets for England since 1914. 

  13. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a wonderful day's cricket especially for England who played almost perfectly except for the Bairstow missed stumping off the best player in the world, De Villiers."

  14. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a great last over by Steven Finn, a great pace, good areas and got the vital wicket. He looked really solid and England are receiving a great cheer from the fans as they walk off."

  15. Close-of-play scorecard

    South Africa need 416 to win

    South Africa second innings: 136-4 (47 overs)

    Batsmen: De Villiers 37, Steyn 0

    Fall of wickets: 53-1 (Van Zyl 33), 85-2 (Amla 12), 88-3 (Elgar 40), 136-4 (Du Plessis 9)

    Bowling figures: Broad 11-4-25-0, Woakes 6-2-17-0, Finn 9-3-27-3, Stokes 7-1-26-1, Moeen 15-3-36-0

    England second innings: 326 (Bairstow 79, Root 73, Piedt 5-159)

    South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out, Broad 4-25, Moeen 4-69)

    England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

    Full scorecard

  16. Close of play

    SA 136-4

    Steven Finn and Alastair Cook chat at the close of play

    Steven Finn fizzes one past the edge, but Dale Steyn gets through. England will sleep well after another very good day. They will return tomorrow hunting the six wickets that will put them 1-0 up in this series.

  17. Get Involved


    JoElle: ‏BOOOOM!

    Tattz:‏ A delivery for which the term 'rip-snorter' was invented. Great bowling from Finn! 

    bROCKerz:‏ "Fiiiinn, Finn will tear you apart again!"

  18. SA 136-4

    Steyn will do all he can to ensure this is the last over of the day. A whole host of slips and a short leg. Steyn survives one ball. Finn is bowling gas.

  19. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "What a good ball, and a lovely catch by Cook. It's not De Villiers, it's Du Plessis, but it will do. That's a really good wicket to have, it's just given them a lift."

  20. SA 136-4 (Finn 7.3-2-27-3)

    Finn has been the man to make things happen for England today. He's got 3-27, this time using all of his 6ft 7in to find the bounce to remove Du Plessis. Dale Steyn, bad shoulder and all, has shuffled out as nightwatchman.

  21. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Where did that come from? It really did bounce. And it went to Cook at a incredible pace. I think that would have got anybody out."

  22. WICKET

    Du Plessis c Cook b Finn 9 (SA 136-4)

    teven Finn celebrates with teammates after dismissing South Africa’s batsman Faf du Plessis

    Huge moment! What a delivery from Steven Finn, who has done it again for England. It was always likely that something special would be needed to get rid of the limpet-like Faf du Plessis and Finn has got one to climb from just short of a length. Steepling bounce, shoulder of the bat, a very smart catch taken at slip by Alastair Cook. Big, big wicket late in the day for England.  

  23. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    AB de Villiers bats

    "Three is a reasonable number of wickets, although if it included de Villiers England would be a lot happier going into tomorrow."

  24. SA 136-3

    Moeen switches ends to replace Broad. After four balls, Cook stops him and calls "Compo" to leg slip. Four men around the bat, but De Villiers still looking as comfortable as a man with his pipe and slippers. Maybe three overs left in the day.

  25. Get Involved


    Shannon McKee: ‏If Anderson isn't fit for the 2nd Test, Mark Footitt should play. I like Woakes, but he hasn't done enough in this Test.

  26. SA 136-3 (target 416)

    Out of step with his blocking batting, Du Plessis drops one at his feet and calls De Villiers through for a short single. Odd, given the circumstances. As he has done all day, De Villiers appears to have oodles of time to play the ball. Take guard, watch bowler. See ball, decide which shot to play. Have cup of tea, read paper, pop to the shop, then play shot. 

  27. Post update

  28. SA 133-3

    Moeen off, Steven Finn on. "You've not seen nothing like the mighty Finn," sing the Army.

  29. Get Involved


    JoElle:‏ We've had more dramatic Tests in 2015, but this is the one I'm enjoying most.

  30. SA 133-3 (target 416)

    Faf du Plessis of South Africa bats

    The light looks set to hold, meaning we will have a full day's play. Du Plessis chews his gum - there's more life in his mouth than there is in his bat. James Taylor goes in at silly point, while bowler Stuart Broad tells another fielder to come "nice and tight". Broad even tries running in behind the umpire, appearing at the very last moment, in a bid to disrupt FDP. I doubt dynamite would shake Du Plessis.

  31. Get Involved


    Greg: ‏People talk about problems with openers but England haven't had a good wicketkeeper for many years and it hurts them often.

    Anand Dahihandekar: Bad miss Johnny. Will it cost the Test match?

    Mike Ball: ‏England and SA showing in this match why you should pick specialist keepers. I know Bairstow keeps for Yorkshire, but he's not great.

  32. SA 133-3

    Moeen still round the wicket to De Villiers, who has two catchers on the leg side. One is Alastair Cook, who is frantically trying to get the attention of Alex Hales. "Halesy, Halesy!" he shouts. I can't see Hales, but can only assume that he must be day-dreaming. There are 20 minutes left in the day.

  33. Latest scorecard

    South Africa need 416 to win

    South Africa second innings: 133-3 (42 overs)

    Batsmen: De Villiers 35, Du Plessis 8

    Fall of wickets: 53-1 (Van Zyl 33), 85-2 (Amla 12), 88-3 (Elgar 40)

    Bowling figures: Broad 10-3-24-0, Woakes 6-2-17-0, Finn 6-2-24-2, Stokes 7-1-26-1, Moeen 13-1-36-0

    England second innings: 326 (Bairstow 79, Root 73, Piedt 5-159)

    South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out, Broad 4-25, Moeen 4-69)

    England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

    Full scorecard

  34. How's that?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "It's 38 Tests since England last had a stumping. India's Pujara, in 2012 in the second Test in Mumbai, stumped by Matt Prior off Graeme Swann for 135."

  35. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have just had a huge let off there. Jonny Bairstow was blinded by the batsman and didn't see it until it was too late. But they can't cry over spilt milk, it's gone."

  36. SA 133-3 (target 416)

    I actually have a bit of sympathy for Jonny Bairstow here. It was tricky, but far from impossible, so a definite error. He knows it too, and you can tell how much it means to him by the disappointment in his reaction. De Villiers, after that reprieve, is back into the dead-bat groove.

  37. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "You should have seen the size of the smile on Graeme Smith's face when he left his seat. It's never easy when a batsman goes down the wicket and tries to cover the ball and the ball turns sharply."

  38. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "That would have been a massive dismissal before the end of play."

  39. Missed stumping

    SA 132-3

    Jonny Bairstow of England misses a stumping

    Oh, Jonny. As long as these mistakes exist, questions over his place will remain. It's a difficult stumping chance in that he was unsighted, but AB de Villiers was miles down the track, not a chance of getting back. From round the wicket, Moeen gets between bat and pad, but Bairstow can't even get a glove on it. He beats the turf, Alastair Cook closes his eyes. England have given De Villiers a life.

  40. Cricket Attendances


    thesaladdodger: ‏It's a big issue. Where are the South Africans? Big tour, good game...but no interest?

    Jo: That makes for really depressing reading.

    Rob Meech: Can't compare a five-day Test with one BBL match. What's the entire attendance for the Tests?

  41. SA 129-3 (Eng need 7 wickets)

    "150 for five tonight, boys," screams Jonny Bairstow, urging England on. Certainly the tourists would be cockahoop with two more strikes this evening. There are 35 minutes of play left to go, less if the light intervenes. Broad shouts against FDP, gets turned down, then immediately turns to Alastair Cooks. That's leg-side, says the captain. He's right, too. 

  42. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's so wonderful to watch the placement of AB de Villiers. He's so light on his feet."

  43. SA 129-3 (target 416)

    Moeen with some flight and guile in front of a pretty empty Kingsmead, which is only brought to life by some English singing. Oh, lovely from De Villiers, who skips down the track to play an all-along-the-carpet straight drive.He's so easy on the eye, De Villiers. He could probably have his own calendar. 

  44. Post update

  45. SA 124-3 (De Villiers 29, Du Plessis 7)

    Anand, you get your wish, with Broad coming back into the attack, complete with Barmy Army serenade. It's a good line from Broad, watched carefully by ABDV, who then eases into a lovely straight drive for four. England's mojo has temporarily been misplaced.

  46. Get Involved

  47. SA 120-3 (target 416)

    Moeen Ali bowls

    Moeen back into the attack, asking the question against FDP. Outside the line? Cook, whose shades reflect the floodlights, thinks so and opts against a review. 

  48. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have to fight and get something out of this Test match. I felt it was important for them to get off to a good start to get some self belief with the quick turnaround between matches. It's so important for South Africa to get some good vibes out of this. The next day and a bit is so crucial for them"

  49. SA 119-3 (target 297)

    Alien ship looms over the White House in the film Independence day

    The light continues to hold, but that cloud looms over the pavilion like the spaceship over the White House in Independence Day. I think they are making a sequel to Independence Day. And writing one to War of the Worlds. HG Wells, who wrote the War of the Worlds, was the son of a professional cricket. Tenuous literary links to cricket. Still Woakes, still the dead bat of Du Plessis. One of the more uninteresting overs you will see in Test cricket.

  50. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "You wouldn't like to be bowling with that ball. It looks scrubby."

  51. SA 118-3 (35 overs)

    Batting is starting to look easier again, even more so when the previously shotless Du Plessis pulls a Ben Stokes short ball for four. England need to steel themselves for another effort in this last hour, one more push for another breakthrough. 

  52. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Jonny Bairstow is hurting, you can tell by his body language. He's carrying his right hand very gingerly."

  53. SA 114-3 (target 416)

    Chris Woakes is bowling as straight as possible to De Villiers. Target the pads or the stumps. Bring as many methods of dismissal as possible into play. Still no real hint of movement, De Villiers giving a lesson into how play the backward defensive stroke. That might be all from Woakes - maybe get back to spin?

  54. Get Involved


    Diccon Thornely: ‏Do the South African team have the most difficult surnames to make puns with in cricket?!

  55. SA 114-3 (Du Plessis 3 from 30 balls)

    Stokes, all flame hair and tattoos, is running towards the looming, grey building that is rather incongruously called the Friendship Pavilion. It looks more like a 1970s tower block. It seems that Faf du Plessis is going to have to be crow-barred into playing a stroke. There's more chance of getting a darts player out of the pub.

  56. SA 114-3 (target 416)

    A general view of day four

    It feels like a time to be bowling. The sky is dark, the air heavy, the floodlights required. Is the ball shaping? Just a touch. Faf du Plessis looks to be dropping anchor in customary style - a strike-rate down below 10. Chris Jordan is on the field for England, I'm not sure who for.

  57. Get involved


    Irfan Atcha: Get Broad on to get rid of De Villiers and we are laughing.

  58. Drinks break

    SA 113-3

    The physio pays a quick visit to Stokes, who is fit enough to bowl a decent line to De Villiers. The batsman, towel in his trousers, plays with a bat that comes down iron straight, then cuts a wide one for four. Mentioning the towel, why is that there? A very small security blanket? I'll ponder that one during the drinks break.

  59. Latest scorecard

    South Africa need 416 to win

    South Africa second innings: 109-3 (30 overs)

    Batsmen: De Villiers 20, Du Plessis 2

    Fall of wickets: 53-1 (Van Zyl 33), 85-2 (Amla 12), 88-3 (Elgar 40)

    Bowling figures: Broad 7-2-20-0, Woakes 3-0-16-0, Finn 6-2-24-2, Stokes 4-0-18-1, Moeen 10-1-29-0

    England second innings: 326 (Bairstow 79, Root 73, Piedt 5-159)

    South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out, Broad 4-25, Moeen 4-69)

    England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

    Full scorecard

  60. SA 109-3 (target 416)

    Moeen Ali is replaced by Chris Woakes, who has bowled with decent pace in this match. The slippery Warwickshire man is looking to shape the ball towards two slips and a gully, but meets the wide defensive stroke of Faf du Plessis. Woakes gives a stare, but not a word. He doesn't seem to be a sledger, Woakes.

  61. SA 108-3 (Stokes 4-0-18-1)

    AB de Villiers bats for South Africa

    Steven Finn is off after that two-wicket burst, replaced by Ben Stokes. Stokes has been troubled by his right foot all day, he's either hopping to keep off it or stamping to get some feeling into it. When De Villiers jams at one, there's an appeal from behind the wicket, but Stokes shakes his head.

  62. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "112 overs to play sounds an awful lot, but England are in a cracking position. They've got rid of the two openers, we just need to see the back of De Villiers and Du Plessis and that's the backbone of the South African batsmen gone.'"

  63. SA 105-3 (Eng need 7 wickets)

    Moeen comes round to Du Plessis and packs the leg side field. Mid-on is up, challenging FDP to hit down the ground. He resists with a tickle for a single. De Villiers may seem in good order, but he also looks absolutely shattered, like a man who could sleep for a week.

  64. SA 103-3 (target 416)

    AB de Villiers is in good touch. If Rome falls around him, he looks set to remain. First a cut, then a drive for fours off Finn. Even when he's standing back, Jonny Bairstow can be heard on the stump mic. That lad has got some chirp. 

  65. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    Steven Finn celebrates

    "Steven Finn is on 106 wickets in 27 Test matches and just as South Africa were beginning to frustrate England he's crept in with two."

  66. SA 95-3 (De Villiers 7, Du Plessis 1)

    "Very good Moeen," says Jonny Bairstow as we hear Alastair Cook shuffle the field around. Faf du Plessis has as many as four catchers around the bat, defending his way to the end of the over. There are 24 overs left in the day, but surely the light/weather will intervene. 

  67. SA 93-3 (target 416)

    Finn in the gloom, just getting leggy to the red-faced De Villiers to be clipped for four. He's wearing one of those GPS trackers, Finn, the kind that really do look like a sports bra. Either that or a man who forgot to take the hanger out of his shirt. In this spell he's bowled 3-2-4-2.

  68. Get Involved


    Harri Thomas: A snorter of a catch! 

    FlashBanding ©: ‏GET IN... With Elgar gone the game is effectively over. Barring a rainy tomorrow.

    Matthew Bennett: ‏Watford men having a great year on the sporting field!!! Yes Finny!!

  69. SA 89-3 (Eng need 7 wickets)

    South Africa are down to the out-of-form Du Plessis and Duminy, the inexperienced Bavuma and then the bowlers. Du Plessis is surrounded by three catchers as Moeen creeps in. Could England get a silly point in there too? "Lovely bowling," is the cry from behind the stumps.

  70. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "The lights are on, it's gloomy. It could well be raining a little bit further down the coast. I think it's just drifted on past us."

  71. SA 88-3 (Finn 4-2-12-2)

    Elgar hung around at first, perhaps trying to claim a bump ball. Either that, or he couldn't believe he'd followed such a wide ball. He simply guided a half-volley to second slip. Faf du Plessis the new man, walking out as the umpires have the lightmeters out. It may even be drizzling nearby.

  72. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Ben Stokes and Steven Finn celebrate

    "It's definitely out. He's stuck the bat out at a wide ball. They know that's out. Brilliant catch from Joe Root. Finn does have a knack of taking wickets off very average balls."

  73. WICKET

    Elgar c Root b Finn 40 (SA 88-3)

    Dean Elgar of South Africa walks off

    Gone! The immovable, omnipresent Dean Elgar is out and Steven Finn has a second wicket in as many overs. It's very full, quite wide and Elgar jams an edge to second slip, where Joe Root takes a very sharp catch. England have opened the door and are steaming to victory now.

  74. Get Involved


    Rt. Rev. Liam Reilly: ‏YES FINNBAR!

    Phil Coulson: ‏The only SA danger men are Elgar, Amla & de Villiers. Once they are gone the rest will get rolled over cheaply.

  75. SA 88-2 (target 416)

    It's brightened slightly, but TV are showing pictures of the umpires with a lightmeter. I think that's from day one, highlighting the reading that was taken then. Interestingly enough, the lightmeter is branded 'Megatron'. Isn't that something to do with NFL? De Villiers gets away with a single off Moeen.

  76. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a good catch from Jonny Bairstow. Those chances can fly. Finn has a knack of taking wickets. It wasn't a great ball but it wasn't a great shot either. The England fans are now buoyed in the stands."

  77. SA 85-2 (Finn 3-0-12-1)

    Looking again, that just moved off the seam. The original line was straight enough to draw Amla into the stroke, the movement took it wide enough for the edge. AB de Villiers is the new man, facing Finn in gathering gloom. He's beaten first up. England will feel they are one more wicket from a victory charge.

  78. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Wonderful. I will say it again. Moeen Ali and Steven Finn have a wonderful gift for getting wickets. It's a wonderful gift to have and you've got to give them credit for it."

  79. WICKET

    Amla c Bairstow b Finn 12 (SA 85-2)

    Steven Finn of England celebrates

    Gone! England's pressure tells and South Africa lose the key wicket of Hashim Amla. It's not a threatening delivery - short and wide outside off stump - but Amla's flat-footed flash only ends in a thick edge to the mitts of Jonny Bairstow. The South Africa rearguard waves goodbye to a yeoman.  

  80. Get Involved


    Mickey Wallis: If we get 2 more scalps (inc De Villiers) before close, we win. If not, I am predicting a home win. Batting looking easier now.

  81. SA 85-1

    England have bowled two successive maidens. The old saying is that three brings a wicket. Steven Finn is on for Stuart Broad.

  82. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "He looks comfortable Elgar. It will help him playing on the same surface and getting runs, you get used to it."

  83. SA 85-1 (target 416)

    The TV cameras pick out an England fan, head back, snoozing. When he's given a nudge, he sees himself and salutes the crowd. What a showman. Only one slip for Moeen to Elgar now - England concerned? There's some clouds gathering behind Moeen, so the light could play its part later.

  84. Get Involved


    Vince Kenny: It's true Daniel. His breakthrough Album was named after his view of artificial cricket strips when it's raining.

  85. SA 85-1 (Elgar 38, Amla 12)

    Hashim Amla in action for South Africa

    Hashim Amla is starting to find the meat of the bat, having Steven Finn scrambling around on his hands and knees at mid-off. Stuart Broad, perhaps in the last over of his spell, struggles to get the ball to misbehave. It could be hard yakka for England tonight and tomorrow. 

  86. Get Involved

  87. SA 85-1 (target 416)

    Hashim Amla has a very precise method against off-spin. He takes guard right across his stumps and looks to work the ball with the turn on the leg side. It's a plan that got him 300 against England at The Oval three years ago. Moeen expensive so far, more than four an over. On a completely unrelated note, The Dambusters is on TV this afternoon. Classic Christmas telly.

  88. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "They're doing the right thing here South Africa and being a lot more selective. They're making it harder for England and it's what you've got to do here".

  89. SA 82-1 (Eng need 9 wickets)

    Only two slips and a gully for Broad to Elgar, with plenty of men in the covers. England won't have wanted to be in slight retreat at this stage. Dean Elgar, by the way, has managed to be on the field for every delivery of this Test match - right the way through all four innings so far. At the moment, the pacers aren't getting it to do much.

  90. Get Involved


    Jon Bon Jovi

    Daniel Conor: ‏That must be sarcastic talking about Bon Jovi's cricketing past? Would love to know the source of that.

  91. SA 80-1 (target 416)

    I'd love to have a go at being the DJ at an international cricket match. How do they pick their tunes? We've just had Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. Clearly a classic. Diamond toyed with a tribute to West Indian batsman Chanderpaul, called Sweet Shivnarine, but thought better of it. The South African charge continues as Elgar sweeps Moeen for four. This aggression is clearly a plan to get England on the back foot.

  92. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "They've made a better fist of it South Africa. They're getting their noses over the ball and that's what any cricket lover would expect."

  93. SA 75-1 (Elgar 30, Amla 10)

    Stuart Broad after the break, the England pacer getting quite angry at a Nick Compton mis-field that gives Amla two. Broad stands mid-pitch, hands on hips like a man whose puppy has dirtied the lawn. When Broad drops short, Amla climbs into a pull for four. The runchase is on... 

  94. Get involved

  95. SA 69-1 (target 416)

    Elgar has a slip and a helmeted silly point for company. He's positive in defence, pushing and prodding. By keeping Amla from the business end, he deprives us of the a battle between the two best beards in the game. He ends the over with a handsome cover drive. The Daniel Craig of cricket strokes.

  96. SA 65-1

    So, England are nine good bits of cricket away from winning this first Test. They are back out at Kingsmead, where it's looking just a touch on the cloudy side. Moeen Ali has the ball. There are 37 overs left in the day.

  97. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I had dinner with James Anderson last night. He said he hopes to be fit for the second Test, but he seemed a bit 50/50."

  98. Post update

  99. Post update

    Interestingly enough, Jon Bon Jovi was a keen cricketer as a young lad. He was a whippy pace bowler who I'm told could generate some reverse swing. Then a knee injury ended his career, so he formed a band instead.

  100. Post update

    Thanks, James. For some reason, I've got Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer in my head. Maybe that's what South Africa will be doing for the rest of this match.

  101. Tea scorecard

    South Africa second innings: 65-1 (13 overs)

    Batsmen: Elgar 26, Amla 4

    Fall of wickets: 53-1 (Van Zyl 33)

    Bowling figures: Broad 4-1-12-0, Woakes 2-0-15-0, Finn 2-0-12-0, Stokes 3-0-15-1, Moeen 2-0-9-0

    England second innings: 326 (Bairstow 79, Root 73, Piedt 5-159)

    South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out, Broad 4-25, Moeen 4-69)

    England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

    Full scorecard

  102. Get Involved


    Sam Gascoyne: ‏Ben Stokes you beauty!

    David McNaught: ‏Gate slightly ajar and Stokes steams through it!

    Jay: Was wondering whether the wicket alert on bbc cricket live text had stopped working.

  103. Post update

    Time for me to leave you and hand back to Stephan Shemilt, who will be with you until the close.

  104. Afternoon summary

    So after England were finally bowled out for 326, with Jonny Bairstow falling on 79, South Africa set about the task of chasing 416 - or surviving 140 overs.

    But they've begun like they're in no mood to hang on for a draw, adding 65 runs in 13 frenetic overs, with under-pressure opener Stiaan van Zyl turning the tables on England with some lusty blows.

    However, he was dismissed shortly before the interval, Ben Stokes nipping one through the gate to allay England nerves.

  105. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England are still firm favourites. I was very impressed by that delivery from Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali's short spell was very good. The batting of Elgar and Van Zyl was good too."

  106. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have punched back, but England only need nine good balls."

  107. Tea interval

    SA 65-1

    Nice from Amla, standing tall, flourishing square drive off Stokes to get off the mark with a four. And that's the interval.

  108. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That flew past Ben Stokes. It's very hard when people are playing the square cut. It either goes straight into your hands or past your face."

  109. Post update

  110. SA 61-1 (Moeen 2-0-9-0)

    South African batsman Dean Elgar watches his shot

    Streaky from Elgar, flashing hard at Moeen and edging the ball between the slips for four. It went very fast at about head height, the sort of chance where you're just grateful you don't have to book an appointment with the dentist. Elgar thwacks Moeen to the point boundary and South Africa's fast start shows no signs of slowing.

  111. SA 53-1 (Elgar 18, Amla 0)

    So, England put an end to a very promising partnership from South Africa and reverse the momentum that the home side were beginning to build up. Hashim Amla, on a run of low scores, is the new man.

  112. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Brilliant from Ben Stokes. It's a beauty of a ball, nipping back. They always say to hit the top of off stump - that was perfect. That will put the handbrake on South Africa and just what Alastair Cook wanted."

  113. WICKET

    Van Zyl b Stokes 33 (SA 53-1)

    Ben Stokes celebrates

    Got him! The very satisfying 'plunk' of leather smashing ash as Ben Stokes gets one to seam back and rip through the defences of Stiaan van Zyl. Van Zyl had batted so promisingly but he just propped forward with a stiff front leg and left an inviting gap between bat and pad. Big breakthrough for England, and SVZ trudges off, not knowing whether he's done quite enough to preserve his Test future.

  114. How's Stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "This is South Africa's first 50 opening partnership in their past nine innings, averaging 11. Since the beginning of 2014, the average is 26. Only Zimbabwe's is worse."

  115. SA 50-0 (target 416)

    Moeen Ali with the ball for England

    Ah, here he is. Moeen Ali into the attack, a little later than expected. These two batsmen toiled against the off spin of Ravichandran Ashwin in India and it will be a surprise if they can keep this free scoring up against Moeen. Elgar knocks a single to bring up the 50 partnership.

  116. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm quite impressed by Van Zyl. He's not going to be timid. If it's there to hit, he will hit it. It won't be long before we see some off-spin."

  117. SA 49-0 (run rate 5.44)

    Well, Moeen might have seemed the obvious choice, but for now he's cooling his heels and Ben Stokes is going to bowl first change. The all-rounder has a hole cut in the big toe area of his trainer, and there's a pronounced limp and grimace as he follows through on his first delivery. "Ben Stokes is the sort of man who's always sore," says my colleague Stephan Shemilt. He'll be even sorer after this - Van Zyl, who is playing a blinder so far, hits him for two consecutive fours.

  118. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "You always want an early breakthrough when bowling, but this start will have taken the shine off the ball. I'd have Moeen Ali on now for a bit of spin. This should be his moment, his chance to win the match."

  119. Get Involved


    Chris Woakes of England bowls

    Kevin Ticehurst: ‏ Not sure why we are slating Woakes? I thought he bowled smartly in the first innings with no luck. Needs a wicket soon. 

    Thommo: Woakes has talent. Improvement comes through exposure at test level. We need to nurture talent for our future squad.

    Fenners: ‏Get Moeen on early!

  120. SA 40-0 (Elgar 14, Van Zyl 25)

    I wonder when Alastair Cook might think about introducing a bit of spin - with both these players having been thoroughly discombobulated by slow bowling during the India series. Van Zyl, probably playing for his Test future, whips Steven Finn through backward square-leg fence for his third boundary, then absolutely pastes him through midwicket for number four. South Africa on the charge!

  121. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "During the second half of his century in the first innings and his innings so far today, Elgar has looked very composed. His head has been still, he's batting very calmly, and his timing has been superb."

  122. SA 30-0 (target 416)

    Stuart Broad prepares to bowl

    Elgar has the consummate timing of a man who always gets his poached eggs just right - he clips Stuart Broad off his legs and the ball races to the mid-wicket boundary. Good start this from South Africa.

  123. Get Involved


    VillanUK: Moving on from the negativity about Cook, Bairstow's innings was a xmas cracker, maybe match winning?

  124. SA 26-0

    With slim pickings for Chris Woakes so far, Steven Finn replaces him in the attack. Van Zyl is living dangerously - again he flicks aerially into the leg side and only just clears the flailing arm of James Taylor at short leg.

  125. Get Involved


    Beth: ‏Woakes is a good bowler. He showed that in the first innings. He just hasn't found the right lengths yet. 

    Chris Woakes
  126. SA 24-0 (Elgar 9, Van Zyl 14)

    Stuart Broad hits Van Zyl on the pads and has a holler, but it's clearly sliding down leg. That's class from Dean Elgar, driving Broad down the ground for a four so straight he could have measured it with a spirit level.

  127. Get Involved


    Fenners: I hope that this Test shows how ineffective Woakes is and that he has no place at this level.

    Mike Ball: ‏England should persist with Woakes. I think he has a lot of potential to be a classy all-rounder with a bit more work. 

    Matt Smith: ‏Woakes just isn't good enough with the ball at Test level...wasting the new ball here.

  128. SA 17-0 (target 416)

    That's nice from SVZ, standing tall and punching Woakes handsomely off the back foot to the point boundary. He's clearly got a few decent shots in his locker, if he can just get past those early-innings jitters. Another good piece of timing earns him three for a punch down the ground.

  129. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Taylor did pretty well to stay so low. It could have been one of those flukey dismissals that goes your way."

  130. Dropped catch

    SA 9-0

    Stiaan Van Zyl's Test career flashes before his eyes as he flicks Stuart Broad to leg and James Taylor, under the helmet at short leg, almost manages to reel it in via a fortuitous combination of leg and hand. Ben Stokes puts his hands to his increasingly pink face in frustration.

  131. How's Stat?!

    Teams have batted 140-plus overs in the fourth innings of Tests in South Africa on six occasions. The last instance was England's 141 overs in Cape Town, 2010-11.

  132. SA 9-0 (Elgar 3, Van Zyl 6)

    South African batsman Stiaan van Zyn

    Ooh I say that's a good shot from Van Zyl, overpitched by Woakes and SVZ just leans into it but it's superbly timed and races away to the boundary. Greeted by a blast of 'Africa' by Toto over the tannoy. Classic. A nice push from Elgar earns him two.

  133. Get involved

  134. SA 2-0 (target 416)

    Van Zyl, of course, left a straight one second ball in the first innings, and in fact, they've switched round - Elgar is going to take strike. He's off the mark with a steer through point, and Van Zyl avoids a pair with a push and run.

  135. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have to lay a platform in the top three. One of the first two wickets need a 100-run partnership. They don't want men around the bat when Moeen Ali comes on to bowl."

  136. Post update

    Elgar (fresh from a ton) and Van Zyl (fresh from Test-best bowling figures) are out in the middle. Stu-Bro has the nut. Let's go.

  137. Post update

    He might not have got a ton, but it's worth highlighting what a very good innings that was from Jonny Bairstow. In a game where scoring has generally been difficult and slow, 79 from 76 balls is a superb effort. He batted for the team, even eschewing personal glory at the end to unselfishly play risky shots.

  138. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "England have outplayed South Africa in every department. They are down, but not out. Two or three guys need to play well. They need to get through today and make England bowl them out."

  139. End-of-innings scorecard

    England lead by 415

    England second innings: 326 all out (102.1 overs)

    Fall of wickets: 13-1 (Cook 7), 48-2 (Hales 26), 119-3 (Compton 49), 192-4 (Root 73), 197-5 (Stokes 5), 224-6 (Taylor 42), 272-7 (Moeen 16), 315-8 (Woakes 23), 315-9 (Broad 0), 326-10 (Bairstow 79)

    Not out batsman: Finn 0  

    Bowling figures: Steyn 3.5-0-10-0, Morkel 20.3-5-38-1, Abbott 21.4-3-62-1, Piedt 36-4-159-5, Elgar 9-0-32-0, Van Zyl 10.1-3-20-3, Duminy 1-0-5-0

    South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out, Broad 4-25, Moeen 4-69)

    England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

    Full scorecard

  140. Post update

    Neil Manthorp

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There are 140 overs for South Africa to bat to force the draw. If they do bat that long, they might be in sniffing distance of winning."

  141. Innings summary

    Well, it might have been a bit stodgy towards the end, but that's still a job well done by England. The openers failed again, but Nick Compton and Joe Root set them up solidly, before a bit of biff from Bairstow saw them through a very satisfactory second-innings total. South Africa will have to score 416 to win - two runs shy of the world record fourth-innings chase. England in the box seat...

  142. WICKET

    Bairstow c Duminy b Van Zyl 79 (Eng 326 all out)