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Live Reporting

Marc Higginson, Stephan Shemilt and Tim Peach

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Au revoir

    And you thought we'd finished for the day! Mark Wood (see below) has answered one of the main questions of a day when the UK put a man in space.

    There'll be more insight from Mark Wood on the BBC Sport website later, but it's goodnight from me.

    Remember to join us from around 07:45 GMT tomorrow for an early start. Night.

  2. Mark Wood Q&A

    Will Barber: What single crisp could you throw the furthest? My pick is a twiglet. A quaver would be useless

    MW: "Right. I’m thinking something like a cheese ball. Or a monster munch. But you’d have to throw it like a spiral, not with the hole in the middle. Technique is crucial, it’s all about the technique. A hula hoop is nice and weighty, but if you throw it wrong, the hole will disrupt you. That’s why I’m thinking monster munch, because it’s got them fingers. If you throw it down the fingers, almost like a tyre, so the middle bit goes straight."

  3. Who's winning?!

  4. The new Botham?

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "After 22 Tests, Botham had 1068 runs at 36.82 and 118 wickets at 19.27. Stokes currently has 1340 runs at 34.35 and 50 wickets at 40.48."

  5. Mark Wood Q&A

    Gareth Jones: What would players think if each session lasted 30 overs. This might hurry the fielding side up if they ended up with 20mins for lunch or no tea!

    MW: "Definitely not for the lunch break. I’d be bowling backwards if I had no energy. I’m a skinny lad as it is! Good idea, but I don’t think it’s practical."

    Harry Ridley: What's your favourite ground in the world?

    MW: "Trent Bridge."

    George Thornton: What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?

    MW: "Jogging pants on, Forrero Rochers, Zulu on the telly. Bang."

  6. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have an inexperienced attack and they struggled in the heat of the pressure of a Test match. England have a great chance to get a lead and then in the third innings sometimes people don't bat very well when under pressure."

  7. Mark Wood Q&A

    Duncan Johnson: For young fast bowlers, what one tip/hint would you give them to help them improve and progress ?

    MW: "Strengthen in the right areas, practice, practice, practice, and have plenty of fire in your belly."

    Stuart Robertson: Would you rather fight an imaginary horse-sized duck or 100 imaginary duck-sized horses?

    MW: "Hmm. [gives this a lot of thought]. 100 duck-sized horses. And I could control them, make them my own and build an army."

    A horse. And some ducks.
    Image caption: This was the best horse-duck picture we could come up with
  8. High praise for Root

  9. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "At times England were scoring 10 an over. Stokes is a game changer. And at the opposite end, Root was playing magnificently. He's got the lot and batted beautifully."

  10. Mark Wood Q&A

    Lydia Jane – would you rather have a pet unicorn or a pet dragon?

    MW: "Dragon. Any day of the week. Especially with weather like this, to blow away the snow and that. Defrost the car, easy peasy, back in the cage."

    Freddie Hatchett: Important question here, Woody: Biggie or Tupac?

    MW: "Tupac. Changes is a song that gets played in the dressing room a lot, so yeah, Tupac."

    Mark Wood
  11. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stokes came in and counter-punched again. He's like a boxer in that you can hit him two or three times but he bounces back. He seriously gives it a clonk and he's off and running before you know it."

  12. Post update

    Ah yes... that catch from Temba Bavuma was special. He deliberately parried it into the air at short leg to ensure he had extra time to catch it. Instinct or has he been coached that?

  13. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook may play differently next Test and get two hundreds because he's that good but he got strangled down the leg side again. Compton was doing all right but then got out to a good ball, a corker that he had to play, and was caught. Taylor got bat and pad to a lovely catch by Bavuma and England were wobbling again."

  14. Mark Wood Q&A

    Matt Darwood: Woody - what one piece of advice would you give my 10-year-old son who plays for Northumberland U11s as he starts his career?

    MW: "He's obviously already got the talent if he's from Northumberland. Have fun, enjoy it, results don't matter, but take notice of your coaches. They do actually know what they're talking about."

    Matthew Slight: What's the best dressing room prank you have ever played?

    MW: "In club cricket, one of my mates put a paving block into a teammate's bag. He didn't realise and carried it round for three months, thinking his bag was very heavy."

    Mark Wood
  15. A man in the best of form

    Just a quick note on Joe Root... his most productive shot was the on-drive. It brought him 23 runs today. I'm fairly certain that I've heard people more educated than me suggest you're in good form if you're hitting the on-drive well.

    England's Joe Root
  16. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "England's batsmen didn't get off to a great start with Hales out in the same way again. He's asking for trouble in any cricket, including club cricket, unless he solves his technique, no matter how good his hand-eye coordination is or how hard he hits the ball."

  17. Get Involved


    Ben Sutton: So it seems earlier reports of our demise, see 10.56, have been greatly exaggerated.

  18. From the press box

  19. Close-of-play scorecard

    England 238-5 from 52.4 overs

    Batsmen: Root 110, Bairstow 4

    Fall of wickets: 10-1 (Hales 1), 22-2 (Cook 18), 74-3 (Compton 26), 91-4 (Taylor 7), 202-5 (Stokes 58)

    Bowling figures: Morris 13-1-62-0, Rabada 14.4-5-48-2, Morkel 14-0-63-2, Viljoen 11-0-57-1

    South Africa first innings: 313 (Elgar 46, Stokes 3-53)

    South Africa won toss

    Full scorecard

  20. Post update

    Anyway, shall we see what Geoffrey thought about it all?

  21. Early start on Saturday

    A quick heads-up, play will start at 08:00 GMT in the morning as we look to make up for some of the 25 overs we lost today.

  22. From the press box

  23. Play called off for the day

    Go and have that pint, Staffan!

    For those who can't grab an early cut, we'll get Geoffrey Boycott's thoughts on the day shortly...

  24. Mark Wood Q&A

    Earlier we asked you for your questions for injured fast bowler Mark Wood. You didn't disappoint. 

    Mark Wood

    Charlie Godden - Other than cricket, what sports do you love playing? 

    Anything going. Squash, badminton, football, I even had a go at rugby, but I tried to tackle a bloke nicknamed Shrek once, and he flattened me. So that was my last game of rugby. I love boxing and Conor Mcgregor in the UFC. 

    Maxi Kelly - Who's the worst footballer in the team? In the coaching staff, it's Ottis 'gammy knee' Gibson. As a player, I'm going for Adam Lyth, because he never passes. 

  25. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Who are the players likely to emerge for South Africa?

    BBC Test Match Special

    "South Africa have three inexperienced seamers in this game but they need to look at the next top-order batters. Dean Elgar has stamped his authority on one slot but they need to find the next generation.

    "Selection and leadership are crucial now and they need a strong coach to identify the players to move the team forward."

  26. From the press box

  27. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Did you overreact when Finn clipped the stumps?

    BBC Test Match Special

    "I just raised that it was off-putting. I didn't raise a fuss behind the scenes but mentioned it to the umpires and it was up to them to make the decision.

    "He's been outstanding in this series with his pace, and he's got the outswinger going too."

  28. Post update

    To answer your question, Staffan, we don't know! We think the cut-off time will be 15:30 GMT. The covers are coming on so it's not looking good.

    Perhaps go for a Friday pint and follow via the BBC Sport app?

    See what I did there? Oh, and mine's a lager.

    Rain delay in South Africa v England Test match
  29. Get Involved


    Staffan Vowles: Any chance of any more play, or can I safely leave work and go for a Friday pint?

  30. Quiz answer

    Earlier we asked you what Dennis Amiss had in common with Julie Walters, Joan Armatrading, Chris Tarrant, Trevor Francis and The Archers.

    Well done to Sean Ranson and Simon Richardson who got the answer...

    They've all been awarded a place in Birmingham's Walk of Stars. Amiss has just had his name added to the pavement in Broad Street. 

    (Other names underfoot include Lenny Henry, Ozzy Osbourne, Jasper Carrott, Noddy Holder, Murray Walker and Frank Skinner).

    Amiss was born and brought up in Birmingham, and scored 102 centuries in 658 first-class matches before he retired in 1987, going on to serve as an England selector. 

    Dennis Amiss
  31. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Who was your favourite opening partner?

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Herschelle Gibbs was an instinctive player, right-handed too, and I think our styles complemented each other. He took the game on and took pressure off me. Neil McKenzie was a great character with a great sense of humour. And then Alviro Petersen came in and performed well."

  32. Amir makes his return

    In case you missed it earlier, Mohammad Amir was booed on his return to international cricket after a five-year ban, but took a wicket as Pakistan beat New Zealand in a Twenty20 match.

    Amir, 23, was playing for Pakistan for the first time since his suspension for spot-fixing ended.

    Pakistan beat their hosts by 16 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with Mohammad Hafeez scoring 61 as they reached 171-8.

    Amir opened the bowling, taking 1-31 from four overs, but did not bat.

    More on that here.

    Pakistan's Mohammad Amir
  33. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Which bowler used to try to wind you up the most?

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Jimmy Anderson was always the grumpiest. We had a lot of battles and I used to find ways of irritating him by tapping on his follow-through marks because I felt he got too close to the wicket. He used to go back to his mark muttering away."

  34. Sorry Alan, but you have had 22 years...

    Alan Peevers: I haven’t seen The Lion King. You’ve spoiled it for me now.

  35. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Did you get annoyed at being described as an ugly batsman?

    BBC Test Match Special

    "I didn't see myself as stylish like Kallis or De Villiers but I scored runs as an opening batsman. That was my job and I guess there's a few people that would like to be as ugly and effective as me with the bat."

  36. Get Involved


    David Payne: For Joel Fentem; no need to check Joe Root's passport, he's not English, he's from the People's Republic Of Yorkshire. Ask Geoffrey.

  37. Quiz question

    Here's a question. What does Dennis Amiss have in common with Julie Walters, Joan Armatrading, Chris Tarrant, Trevor Francis and The Archers? We'll answer in a while....

    Dennis Amiss
  38. Graeme Smith Q&A

    Do you enjoy your status as an England-captain slayer?

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I get asked about that a lot. I don't take pride in others' disappointments. It's just how it happened in those series with the build-up in pressure in home Tests.

    "Nasser Hussain tried to put me under the pump and I didn't think too much about it because I was only 22, but Michael Vaughan's resignation resonated with me because I was a more experienced captain by then. And then there was Strauss in 2012 at Lord's when he resigned."

  39. Post update

    Test Match Special are using the delay to put some of your questions to former South Africa captain Graeme Smith. They're coming up now - as are some of your Q&As you submitted for Mark Wood earlier.

  40. Get Involved


    Lee Eagling: Stokes and Root together - the bowlers get Stooted around the park.

  41. Post update

    And so we come to now. After Ben Stokes fell on his sword, Joe Root ploughed on and brought up his century with the the classiest of cover drives. All top hat and tail. Phwoar.

    We're currently off for bad light, with play scheduled to finish at 16:00 GMT.

    England's Joe Root
  42. Post update

    Then a Rooster happened.

    A Rooster is the name we've given to a Root and Stokes partnership.

    They put their foot down in exhilarating style - whacking boundary after boundary to turn South Africa's lion-hearted bowlers into mere kittens. Their partnership of 111 came at seven an over.

    It was blow-your-mind stuff on a track which is sporting to the bowlers and with a dirty, dark cloud hanging overhead.

  43. The name's GC... not Hardus!

  44. Post update

    South Africa's 313 all out looked further away than a Kevin Pietersen recall when England fell to 91-4. Alex Hales and Nick Compton nicked off to the slips and Alastair Cook was caught behind. James Taylor also fell cheaply as the tourists stuttered.

    The Proteas unleashed fast bowler GC Viljoen on England and he roared in like a furious lion - much like when Simba gets his revenge on Scar in the Lion King.

    He was rapid and fearsome... getting Cook with his first ball in Test cricket.

  45. Get Involved


    Peter M: Re Jack Lennon-French - I am grown up and I still want to be Ben Stokes.

    Jeremy Leese:@BeefyBotham wears Ben Stokes pyjamas! #legendinthemaking

  46. Post update

    If you're just joining us after a busy afternoon at work, let me recap what's happened. It's been good.

    First of all England took three wickets this morning to end South Africa's innings for a grand total of 313. Ben Stokes, as Ben Stokes does, took just one ball to take the one wicket needed when he came on to bowl. Special.

  47. From the press box

  48. Get Involved

    I don't know if it's because I just finished the last of the office mince pies (well past their best before date) or if this is actually quite funny... but it made me giggle.

  49. Get Involved


    Rob: Top, top knock from Joe Root. The guy always gets his runs when it matters.

    Tom Mansell: Super hundred from Joe Root keep it going.

    Joel Fentem: Someone needs to check Joe Roots passport as he can't be English. We don't produce players as good as this, utterly astounding

  50. Post update

    Rumours (started by me) that Joe Root walked into the dressing room and said let there be light. And there was light.

  51. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a chastening afternoon for South Africa. They were on top, but then came Stokes and Root."

  52. Latest scorecard

    England 238-5 from 52.4 overs

    Batsmen: Root 110, Bairstow 4

    Fall of wickets: 10-1 (Hales 1), 22-2 (Cook 18), 74-3 (Compton 26), 91-4 (Taylor 7), 202-5 (Stokes 58)

    Bowling figures: Morris 13-1-62-0, Rabada 14.4-5-48-2, Morkel 14-0-63-2, Viljoen 11-0-57-1

    South Africa first innings: 313 (Elgar 46, Stokes 3-53)

    South Africa won toss

    Full scorecard

  53. Bad light stops play

    Eng 238-5

    Hmmmm. It's dark. Dark enough for the umpires to take the players off for bad light. The decision was made while Root was getting his helmet changed. Maybe a player taking one to the head got the umpires a little twitchy.

  54. Eng 238-5 (trail by 75)

    I've just had visual confirmation that Joe Root is human after all. He's sconned by a Kagiso Rabada bouncer and the ball runs for four (he edged it on to his helmet).

  55. Get Involved


    Tristan Watson: England have been in some bad situations over the years in Test cricket. Just think how it would have been without Root!

  56. Get Involved

  57. Eng 232-5 (Root 105, Bairstow 3)

    Joe Root celebrated his hundred by shaking his fist and then embracing his long-time mate Jonny Bairstow. This was certainly one of the best of his career.

    He backs it up with a delicious four back down the ground. He's playing shots which are more beautiful to the eye than a portrait of my children.

    Well, almost. I may be getting carried away. Possibly. 

    England's Joe Root
  58. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "That is a magnificent hundred from Root in really tough circumstances."

  59. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "What a knock from Joe Root. He's looked a class above on this surface, with energy and intensity. He's pounced on anything loose."

  60. 100 for Joe Root (off 126 balls)

    Eng 227-5

    If I ever walk in to bat against a rampant South Africa team in a ground nicknamed the Bullring, and seize the initiative with a counter-attacking innings, I'd like to think I'd bring up three figures with a dreamy cover shot to the boundary. Gorgeous.

  61. It's going to rain...

  62. Eng 223-5 (Root 96, Bairstow 3)

    AB De Villiers is stood at mid-off with his shirt trailing out of his trousers. It's not often you see a Test captain without their shirt tucked in. AB's pre-occupied with all things Yorkshire at the moment though - Joe Root taking a quick single which puts him within a boundary of three figures.

  63. Get Involved


    MG: Great game of cricket. England giving the world's top team a game in their own back yard, yet people are still critical?

    Kyle Fitzpatrick: 'Root and Stokes stand revives England'.. I think this is going to be the overall strap-line of England Cricket for the next six years.

  64. Eng 221-5 (Morris 12-1-53-0)

    This has got absolutely nothing to do with Test cricket, but I think England have a fantastic chance of winning the World T20 with players like Joe Root, Ben Stokes in there - plus the specialists like Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler.

    Root, however, is almost toast when he is close to playing on. He deserves a century. Don't give it away, Joseph.

  65. Post update

  66. Get Involved


    Stephen Giles: Taylor goes at 222 runs short of SA total and then Stokes at 111 short. Who says there's nothing in this superstition business?

  67. Eng 217-5 (Root 91, Bairstow 2)

    Can you ever remember a lazy wicketkeeper? They're always busy, athletic sorts aren't they?

    I suppose it's part of the job description. Anyway Jonny Bairstow is in the 'busy' category as he gets off the mark with a single into the leg side. I can't imagine he spends his Sunday mornings lounging on the sofa with the papers and a big plate of toast,

    England's Jonny Bairstow
  68. Post update

    Neil Manthorp

    BBC Test Match Special

    "The storm is very close. It's quite dramatic looking out the back of this box, where it's very dark."

  69. Eng 213-5 (Root 89 off 114)



    A winning formula, eh? More runs follow when Morne Morkel pitches the ball up and it's sent back through mid-off with interest.

  70. Get Involved


    Andrew Morrison: Curses to all you mockers fiends with your talk of #benjo@benstokes38 "just playing T20 for longer" - disaster #mockers

    Chris:@BBCSport that one is on you for tempting fate!

  71. Eng 207-5 (Root 84, Bairstow 0)

    There's plenty more batting for England, with Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali the next two men in. The former joins his Yorkshire team-mate in the middle and watches in awe as Kagiso Rabada is clipped behind square for four.

  72. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a masterclass in how to grab control of a situation and change the course of a Test match in an hour and a half. The South African attack was looking at each other as if they were wondering who wanted to bowl."

  73. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's no shame there, he's played brilliantly."

  74. Post update

    Henry Blofeld

    BBC Test Match Special

    "You can almost hear the audible sigh of relief from South Africa."

  75. WICKET

    Stokes c&b Morkel 58 (Eng 202-5)

    You know when you get that hollow feeling at 11.55pm on Christmas Day because you know the fun is all over for another year? It's a similar feeling felt by all England fans when Ben Stokes is deceived by Morne Morkel and pops up a return catch to the bowler.

    It's been good, Ben. Let's do it all again soon.

    Unlike Christmas Day, I'm sure we won't have to wait a year.

    South Africa's Morne Morkel
  76. Get Involved


    JoElle: Forget Brangelina. I'll take Benjo any day.

    Charles Duncan: Stokes doesn't play Test cricket, he just seems to play T20 for longer.

  77. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a captain's worst nightmare. The ball is whistling round, the bowlers aren't making a difference, they have no control."

  78. Eng 202-4

    Ben Stokes could not be in better form here. First he punches two down the ground, then he belts four over extra cover. He then smiles to his batting partner.

  79. Post update

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "This is the second hundred partnership between this pair. In the 12 innings that they have batted together, the run-rate is 4.56."

  80. Get Involved


    Jack Lennon-French: When I grow up I want to be Ben Stokes.

    Zippy Hawkes: Few stokes stats - he is the highest test run scorer of 2016, by far the most 6’s & an average of 165. Is 2016 a #stokeyear

  81. Post update

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "It's the first time that Ben Stokes has made a Test half-century at quicker than a run a ball."

  82. Eng 196-4 (trail by 117)

    These partnerships between Joe Root and Ben Stokes are happening so frequently, we need to coin a new term to describe them.

    Is it fair to say South Africa have been clobbered flush in the face by a Rooke?

    Root adds another boundary to his massive collection, but is happy to see an edge drop short of the slips. You earn your luck and all that.

    England's Ben Stokes and Joe Root
  83. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's not many teams who can play like this. There's a bit of genius about it. Ben Stokes has got a Gilchrist and Sobers-like ability to change a match."

  84. 50 for Ben Stokes (off 46 balls)

    Eng 190-4

    He's magic, isn't he?

    Ben Stokes reels off another Test half-century - the sixth of his career - with a pull to the boundary off GC.

    England's Ben Stokes
  85. Post update

    While Joe Root has some treatment on his leg injury, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB De Villiers talk tactics.

  86. Eng 186-4 (partnership 95 off 84)

    How long you'll have cricket tonight is anyone's guess. That cloud overhead is filthy. Not that Joe Root is bothered... Morne Morkel digs in a half-tracker and it's pulled for four by Yorkshire's finest (sorry, Geoffrey).

  87. Reasons to follow the live text at work

  88. Post update

    Henry Blofeld

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It has been amazing, compelling cricket. It looked like a rearguard action all the way through when England were four down but Stokes pulled that six off Morkel early on and it's been scintillating stuff since then."

  89. Post update

    Thanks Stephan. What have I missed?

    I hope you haven't been letting Shemilt wind you up?

  90. Eng 181-4 (trail by 132)

    If you're going to flash, flash hard. And only to people you know. As the sun takes us by surprise by reappearing, Stokes eyes some width from Viljoen and gives it the beans. An edge goes through the gap between second slip and gully, running for four. When Viljoen drops short, Root goes on the hook for four more. Not great from Hardus. What is great, though, is the return of Marc Higginson.

  91. A storm is brewing...

  92. Eng 172-4

    Morkel to Stokes is a tasty battle. Two big stags locking horns. Morkel digs in some chin music, which gets Stokes into a tangle, but then another short ball is ridden for a single. Darker than an outhouse in Johannesburg. They'll be batting in miners' lamps soon.

    England's Ben Stokes
  93. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "I think South Africa's inexperienced bowlers have been better than England, but it's now where they have to prove themselves now the counter-attack is happening."

  94. Eng 170-4 (Root 66, Stokes 40)

    According to Wikipedia, Viljoen was named GC after his uncles Gavin and Charlie. That sounds like the sort of thing put in there to wind me up. Anyway, if you still don't believe me that his name really is GC, have a look at his Cricket Archive page. It is Viljoen under the darkening sky, tempting Root into a pretty ugly pull shot. Ooohhh, this is close. Short single to AB de Villiers, who gets the throw away so quickly. If the throw had hit, Root wasn't in the picture.

  95. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "They look like they've been working on Joe Root at tea because he was running hard between the wickets then."

  96. Eng 167-4 (trail by 146)

    The sky is angry, a lead blanket filled with the wet stuff. Michael Vaughan reckons he's seen some lightning in the distance. Root, who was struggling before tea, pushes down the ground and scampers three. There are plenty of gaps in this field now, so five come from the over with minimal fuss.

  97. Get Involved


    Tim MacNamara: First Test in ages I've been glued to - battle between bat & ball & game finely balanced. Give the groundsman a medal!

  98. Eng 162-4

    The gladiators stride back into the amphitheartre. It's gloomy, so the floodlights are on. Morne Morkel has the ball.

  99. England in charge?

  100. Post update

    Some people just don't want to listen, do they?

    Anyway, it's nearly time for the Root & Stokes Show to resume.

  101. Get Involved


    #SlowCoach: Hardus Viljoen calls himself that so that people like you don't embarrass yourselves further trying to pronounce Gerhardus.

  102. Get Involved


    Lord Andrew Dennett: Sorry The Rock but Ben Stokes is now the most electrifying man in sports entertainment!

    WWE wrestler The Rock
  103. Post update

    I seem to be taking some stick about Hardus Viljoen, with some suggesting that Hardus is short for Gerhardus. It's not. His first name really is "GC".

  104. Post update

  105. Tea scorecard

    England 162-4 from 39 overs (were 27-2 at lunch)

    Batsmen: Root 60, Stokes 38

    Fall of wickets: 10-1 (Hales 1), 22-2 (Cook 18), 74-3 (Compton 26), 91-4 (Taylor 7)

    Bowling figures: Morris 11-1-49-0, Rabada 11-5-31-2, Morkel 9-0-40-1, Viljoen 8-0-35-1

    South Africa first innings: 313 (Elgar 46, Stokes 3-53)

    South Africa won toss

    Full scorecard

  106. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    It's been wonderful cricket. South Africa were bossing it for 60% of play today. 

    The ball's not done a lot - just a little bit. England's strength is that middle order. It's so dangerous. It's no often you have four players who can take the game away from you so quickly.

  107. Tea - Eng 162-4

    Everyone relax. England calm down for five, South Africa regroup. It's tea, the end of a breathless session. England have scored 135 runs since lunch, but the four wickets suggest South Africa are just ahead. If Root and Stokes carry on, though, England will run away with it.

  108. Get Involved

    Text us on 81111

    Gary Jones: Don't you just love positive intent? Whatever the sport it is just lovely to see. Good on Stokes for bringing a huge bag of it to the wicket with him.

  109. Close!

    Eng 158-4

    No, no, no! Almost an absolute calamity for England. Ben Stokes wants a single, Joe Root sends him back. Stokes turns like the QEII, dives and make his ground as Dane Vilas drops the ball. I probably needed a direct hit. Stokes stares as Root, the look of a man who has found Joe chatting up his girlfriend.

  110. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    That was four as soon as he hit it. It's what we call a 'hit-me ball'. A buffet ball. Help yourself with my mum's stick of rhubarb.

  111. Eng 158-4 (trail by 155)

    Chris Morris, limbs controlled by an invisible puppeteer and the hair of Tintin, is charged with halting this England stampede. No dice, Chris, as Root clips wide of mid-on for four more. "Rooooot" is the din in the Bullring. It's tea in an over or so. The break can't come quickly enough for the Proteas.

  112. Get Involved


    Hamzah Patel: Joe Root and Ben Stokes batting together is probably the best thing ever. #CounterAttack

  113. Eng 152-4 (Root 54, Stokes 34)

    I'm pretty sure that Hardus Viljoen doesn't actually have a first name. He's listed as GC Viljoen. No words and I don't think the GC stands for anything. Where did Hardus come from? Did he choose it himself? "I'm rock hard, so call me Hardus". Meanwhile, Joe Root is limping and Ben Stokes is whipping through mid-wicket for four more. Is he in another Cape Town mood?

    England's Ben Stokes
  114. Get Involved


    Simon: If you want people to watch more Test cricket you only need three things. A good cricket pitch, fast bowlers & exciting batsmen.

  115. 50 for Joe Root

    Eng 145-4

    The first half-century of the match goes to Joe Root, reached with a drive for four off the returning Hardus Viljoen. 77 balls. He and Stokes are making batting look a totally different proposition to anything we've seen over the past day and a half. It's like we're watching a different sport.

    England's Joe Root
  116. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    See how the game's getting away from South Africa? With England's late order batsmen (the top order's not so special), there are players there who, if you give them an hour's play, can take the game away from you. You don't want to go and make a cup of tea! 

  117. Eng 141-4 (Root 47, Stokes 30)

    It's wonderful from Stokes, who stands up a belts Morris through the covers with the flourish of Garry Sobers. I'm not sure if Sobers ever edged over the keeper for four, but that's what Stokes follows up with, bringing up the 50 partnership in only 35 balls. If international sport is the entertainment business, then Ben Stokes headlines the Variety Show at the London Palladium.

  118. Get Involved


    Sean Ranson: Real chance for Stokes and Root to dig us out here. No two batsmen you'd rather have in right now.

    Adam Sewell: Not very sporting if Morkel claimed a touch that didn't happen. A bit like celebrating a catch you know didn't carry.

  119. Eng 133-4 (last 10 overs 62-2)

    This really is remarkable. Root and Stokes are reversing the momentum of this match in a heartbeat. This time it's Root, who take back-to-back boundaries off Morkel on either side of the wicket. They have put the pressure back on the Proteas, forced mistakes and are bumping the score along. The match is rattling along, all with clouds gathering in the distance.

    England's Ben Stokes
  120. Get Involved

    Use #bbccricket on Twitter

    Jay: Now that Stokes is in, I'm going to add 200 to the score to see how it's going. Still looks a bit worrying.

  121. Eng 121-4 (Root 35, Stokes 22)

    Stokes is ticking here, flicking the returning Chris Morris through mid-wicket for four, then guiding a loose delivery to long leg for another boundary.Stokes has 22 from 17 and this pair have added 30 in 23 balls. Counter-attack.

  122. Multi-tasking

  123. Eng 111-4

    Heart-in-mouth time for Joe Root when Stokes drives the ball back and into the non-striker's stumps. For a minute, it looks like Morkel is claiming he got a touch, with Root well out of his ground. Are you teasing us, Morne? Yes, you are. About as funny as athlete's foot.

  124. Get Involved


    Zigzag: Surely England must regret not having Plunkett available to pick from on this pitch?

  125. Eng 110-4

    It's as if someone has hit the turbo button. One delivery is a bullet, fraught with danger, the next is being carved to the boundary. Root joins in the plan to fight fire with fire, cutting Morkel to the fence with a rapier thrust. Morkel punches back with a nip-backer than almost gets Stokes on Little Ben.

    England's Joe Root
  126. Ask Woody

    Ever wondered why Mark Wood starts his run-up the way he does? Or what his favourite flavour of crisps are? 

    We're going to have a word with him a bit later this afternoon, and will put your questions to him. 

    Send us anything you want to ask via email on or use #askwoody on Twitter.

    Mark Wood
  127. Eng 103-4 (trail by 210)

    Is this the Bullring or the Colosseum? There's definitely lions, but they are the ones in danger at the moment. The few that are in attendance are captivated, humming a soundtrack. Oooohs and aaaahs from the crowd when Stokes throws his hands at a wide one and gets four over gully. This is Test cricket, right here. Batsman clawing for everything, bowlers prowling. Brilliant stuff.

  128. Get Involved

    Text us on 81111

    Matt: I am being very pessimistic, but can't see Stokes lasting too long here.

  129. Eng 98-4

    Stokes changes his bat. He asks for one that is about 6ft 2in tall so he can stand behind it, but there's not one available. Rabada the bowler - take that! Short, Stokes swivels on a hook for six. Do not take your eyes off this. Every ball is an event.

  130. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "That rattled Ben Stokes. It was aimed straight at his jaw."

  131. Eng 92-4 (Morkel 7-0-20-1)

    Whoosh! Welcome to the crease, Ben Stokes. That is a real jaw-rattler from Morkel, one that nearly takes Stokes' head off. Stokes just gets a bit of bat or helmet in the way, otherwise he'd have been wearing leather. Real tough times for England here, the sort they write country music about.

    England's Ben Stokes
  132. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "In many ways, this is where South Africa have struggled in this series. They've not been able to push through the Stokes, Bairstows and Moeens."

  133. Eng 91-4

    Could Taylor have done better? He was playing half-forward to a ball not that full. Should he have been back? It was almost like he trying to turn the ball on the leg side. Curious. As for Bavuma, he had his revenge for the flying bat. Ben Stokes the new man.

  134. Post update

    Graeme Smith

    Ex-South Africa captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Temba Bavuma did so well, he knew he couldn't get it first grab so he parried it and bought himself time. Brilliant fielding - you've got to love the buzz and the energy Bavuma brings whatever he does."

  135. WICKET

    Taylor c Bavuma b Morkel 7 (Eng 91-4)

    England edging nearer and nearer to the deep end. James Taylor goes, inside-edging the returning Morne Morkel on to his pad. The ball loops to short leg, where Temba Bavuma has to stretch every sinew to get his right hand to the ball. We wondered how good South Africa's total was. We are finding out.

    South Africa's Morne Morkel
  136. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "James Taylor is replacing his gloves, that'll be the reason why his bat flew out of his hands."

  137. Eng 91-3 (trail by 222)

    I've just seen a replay of that Compton wicket. It really was a nothing shot. Mile wide off the off stump, short, Compton playing with a straight bat and trying to force. Catching practice. Rabada to Root, three slips and a gully. Good line, Root defends, then tries a very iffy upper-cut to one short of a length. England never far from danger.

  138. Get Involved


  139. Eng 91-3

    Flying bat alert! James Taylor, trying to cut Viljoen, has let go off the blade and sent it flying to mid-wicket. Laughs all round, but spare a thought for short leg Temba Bavuma. He almost took a bat to the bonce. Bavuma returns the bat and I think challenges Taylor to a fight. Strawweight, I think.

    England's James Taylor