South Africa are in a great position to win the Third Test at Lord’s and finish the series 2-0 as a superb opening spell from Vernon Philander has reduced the hosts to 16 for 2 in a run chase of 346 during the fourth day’s play on Sunday! England are now on the defensive with the 16 runs coming in 13 overs at the loss of its two openers.
What a wonderful contest between bat and ballthe third day of the Lord’s Test produced, befitting a battle between the two best teams in the world. With both teams scoring almost the same number of runs in the first innings, the runs scored till then got nullified, and the contest is now all about the second innings performance of the teams.
The Lord’s Test is nicely poised with South Africa ending Day 3 with an overall lead of 139 runs with 7 wickets in hand. Hashim Amla is providing the edge to the visitors with a neat knock of 57* (from 98 balls with 8 fours). Giving him the company is night watchman Dale Steyn, who has been hit on the knuckles by a nasty lifter in his 9-ball stay.
A fighting stand of 124 between Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow rescued England in the Lord’s Test. By the close of play on Day 2, England are decently placed at 208 for 5 in 72 overs in reply to the visitors’ total of 309. Jonny Bairstow is still batting with a career best knock of 72*.
Going into Lord’s, South Africa had everything going for them. They were 1-0 up in the series, their top four batsmen were in exceptional form – Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Alma had all scored hundreds at different points during the first two matches.
South Africa struggled to end the opening day’s play at Lord’s with a modest total of 262 for 7. Things would have been a lot worse than this but for a crucial stand of 72 between JP Duminy (61) and Vernon Philander (46*) for the 7th wicket.
Lord’s it is then that will officially decide which is the best team in the world. South Africa only need to secure a draw to claim the crown whereas England will have to find a way to upset the Proteas if they are to retain the number one ranking. In short, there will be everything to play for, for both teams at Lord’s.