South Africa vs England: Rory Burns' unbeaten knock whittles down massive target as visitors give themselves fighting chance on day 3 of first Test

Set an imposing 376 runs to win the first of the four-match series, England reached 121 for one wicket at stumps on the third day after a positive start to an enormous task

Reuters, Dec 28, 2019 22:43:32 IST

Pretoria: A battling 77 not out from Rory Burns on Saturday gave England a fighting chance of improbable success as they need 255 more runs for victory in the first test against South Africa at Centurion Park.

South Africa vs England: Rory Burns unbeaten knock whittles down massive target as visitors give themselves fighting chance on day 3 of first Test

Rory Burns in action for England against South Africa. AP

Set an imposing 376 runs to win the first of the four-match series, England reached 121 for one wicket at stumps on the third day after a positive start to an enormous task.

No team has scored more than 251 to win a test at the Pretoria venue, where batting last is difficult on a deteriorating pitch, but England defied the odds to keep in the hunt with two days still to bat.

Burns and Dom Sibley put on 92 for the opening wicket before Sibley (29) chipped the ball back to spinner Keshav Maharaj for a caught and bowled.

Burns, who survived a review in the first over, played an attacking innings with Joe Denly (10 not out) in a supporting role.

South Africa, who will have to take nine wickets to end a run of five successive test defeats, were bowled out for 272 in their second innings, just before tea on Saturday, after frustrating England in the field.

With 15 wickets falling on a lively pitch on Friday, England would have been expecting to wrap up South Africa a lot earlier after they resumed at 72-4 overnight.

But the home side extended their overnight lead of 175 runs by 200 as debutant Rassie van der Dussen scored 51, Vernon Philander 46 and nightwatchman Anrich Nortje 40.

Jofra Archer did bag a five-wicket haul but it cost him 102 runs off 17 overs, including a bashing from Quinton de Kock who smacked him for three sixes in a cameo of 34 runs.

De Kock who made 95 in the first innings, began by bludgeoning Archer for successive sixes off only the second and third balls he received to race to 30 runs off 17 balls at lunch.

But he turned circumspect after the break and went out meekly as he nicked Ben Stokes behind.

Instead, it was Philander who kept the post-lunch runs flowing, taking his tally from five to 46 before being the last man out.

South Africa were sent into bat on the first day and made 284 in their first innings before then bowling England out for 181.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Dec 28, 2019 22:43:32 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
6 Sri Lanka 3935 92
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10645 260
6 New Zealand 6056 252