England leads by 261 runs with seven wickets left in their second innings after three days of the First Test in Durban, and South Africa lost star bowler Dale Steyn to a shoulder injury.
South Africa had battled well through the first two days, and started the third day at 137 for four, only trailing England’s first-innings score by 177. However, Stuart Broad bowled Temba Bavuna with the second ball of the day, and Moeen Ali took four lower-order wickets as South Africa slumped to 214 all out, a first-innings deficit of 89 runs. Dean Elgar saved them from further embarrassment by carrying his bat for an unbeaten 118.
Steyn couldn’t finish his fourth over of the day, and was sent for an MRI on his shoulder. It isn’t know if he will be able to bowl on the fourth or fifth days of the test. Dane Piedt removed England’s openers – Alistair Cook on seven and Alex Hales on 26 – to leave the visitors on two for 48.
However, Nick Compton and Joe Root put on 71 for the third wicket before Morne Morkel had Compton caught by AB Villiers behind the wicket. Root and James Taylor had an unbeaten partnership of 53 running at the close of play. Without Steyn, it is difficult to see South Africa bowling England out for under 300, which would leave them a fourth-innings target approaching 400.
In the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, Australia are 179 for 3 in their second innings, giving them a lead of 459. Darren Bravo’s 81 and Carlos Brathwaite’s 59 got the West Indies to 271 in their first innings, and the Australians decided not to enforce the follow-on despite a lead of 280 runs. They are expected to bat through the morning session of the fourth day, build an insurmountable lead of about 575 runs and give themselves five sessions to bowl out the West Indies.