England’s Bess claims five wickets as South Africa hang on – cricket

Quinton de Kock led a struggle-again after rain halted England’s destruction of South Africa’s high order on the third day of the third take a look at at St George’s Park, however the vacationers stay in command after Dom Bess’s maiden take a look at five-wicket haul.

De Kock, who was dropped thrice, scored an unbeaten 63 to see South Africa to 208-6 at stumps after rain decreased the day’s play to 64 overs. Vernon Philander was not out on 27.

The house aspect are nonetheless 291 runs behind after off spinner Bess claimed the primary five South African wickets to fall.

He bagged two on Friday to depart SA teetering at 60-2 in a single day, in replay to England’s mammoth 499 for 9 declared, and picked up the place he left off on Saturday with three extra.

Bess eliminated Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen earlier than rain stopped proceedings at 11.45am, some 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled lunch break.

Play didn’t resume till 3.30pm, irritating England’s march by way of the batting order.

De Kock was dropped twice by Ben Stokes off the bowling of captain Joe Root, first on 30 after which 56, after which once more within the penultimate over, by Stokes off Joe Denly.

But he performed some characteristically entertaining strokes to offer some respite for the house followers after a relentless pounding from England over the primary two days.

Bess had not been chosen for the tour at first, flown out to South Africa simply earlier than Christmas as cowl when a virus struck the England camp. But he has made a powerful bid for a spot on their subsequent tour to Sri Lanka with figures of 5-51 in 31 overs.

“I’ll cherish today, I’ve worked hard for days like this,” Bess mentioned afterwards.

On Saturday he first dismissed Elgar, who edged the ball off his pad to Ollie Pope at foolish level for 35, after which he eliminated Du Plessis in precisely the identical means.

Bess then noticed captain Joe Root drop nightwatchman Anrich Nortje at first slip and Pope fail to snag a half-probability off Van der Dussen.

But his fifth wicket got here two balls later, to joyous celebration, as Van der Dussen performed on and was bowled for 24.

Nortje proved cussed, absorbing 136 balls earlier than Stokes had him caught by Root for 18.

South Africa nonetheless face following on, with England chasing 14 wickets to win the take a look at and go 2-1 forward within the sequence earlier than the final take a look at in Johannesburg subsequent week.

“We are going to come out and focus on fighting for the next two days,” mentioned Nortje.

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